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TRANSACTIONS 

OP  THE 

GAELIC  SOCIETY  OF  INVERNESS. 


VOLUME    VIII. 

1  878-9. 


JOOOOOOOGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOf 


TRANSACTIONS 

or  THB 

GAELIC  SOCIETY  OF  INVERNESS. 


VOLUME    VIIL, 

1878-79. 


TRANSACTIONS 


THE  GAELIC  SOCIETY 
OF  INVERNESS. 


•VIII., 
1878-79. 


Claim  nan  (iaftjpl  an  iuailkn  a' 


PRINTED  FOR  THE  GAELIC  SOCIETY  OF  INVERNESS, 

BY    THE    FREE    PRESS    PRINTING    COMPANY,  INVERNESS; 

AND   SOLD    BY  JOHN   NOBLE,    JAMES    H.   MACKENZIE,   JAMES   MELVEN,    AND 

WILLIAM  MACKAY,  BOOKSELLERS,  INVERNESS ; 
AND    MACLACHLAN    &   STEWART,    EDINBURGH. 


1879. 


PRIXTKD  BY  THE  FRBK  TRESS  PRINTING  COMPACT, 
INVERNESS. 


CONTENTS, 


PAGE 

Office-bearers  for  1879, vii. 

Constitution,      :  viii. 

Introduction,      .  xiii. 

Seventh  Annual  Assembly — Speeches  by  Mr.  John  Mackay 

and  Rev.  Alexander  Macgregor,         ....         1 

Leaves   from  my    Celtic    Portfolio,   third    series — William 

Mackenzie,      ........       18 

Seventh  Annual  Dinner — Speeches  by   Sir    Kenneth  Mac- 
kenzie,   Kev.    Alexander    Macgregor,    Mr.    William 
Mackay,    Mr.    John    Macdonald,    Mr.    Mackay    of 
Ben  Reay,  Mr.  John  Whyte,  Eev.  A.  D.  Mackenzie, 
Mr.  Colin  Chisholm,  Mr.  W.  JoUy,  &c.,   ...       33 
The  Monks  of  lona — Colin  Chisholm,          .         .         .         .56 

The  Celtic  Province  of  Moray — James  Barren,     ...       64 
The  Cosmos  of  the  Ancient  Gaels  in  its  relation  to  their 

Ethics,  Part  II— Donald  Boss,         ....       77 

Leaves   from   my   Celtic   Portfolio,   fourth   series — William 

Mackenzie,       ......  .100 

Mackay's  Regiment — John  Mackay,     . 

Celtic  Etymologies — C.  S.  Jerram,       .  .189 

Honorary  Chieftains,  ......  •     205 

Life  Members,    .....  •     205 

Honorary  Members,    ...  •     205 

Ordinary  Members, .207 

Apprentices, 

Deceased  Members  of  the  Society, 

List  of  Books  in  the  Society's  Library,         ,         ,         ,         ,215 


(Saelw  cSocietjr  of 

OQ 


OFFICE-BEARERS, 

YEAR    1879, 

CHIEF. 
Lachlan  Macdonald  of  Skaebost. 

CHIEFTAINS. 

Alexander  Simpson,  Provost  of  Inverness. 
Charles  Mackay,  Culduthel  Road. 
John  Macdonald,  Merchant,  Exchange. 

HONORARY    SECRETARY. 
William  Mackay,  Solicitor,  Church  Street. 

SECRETARY. 
William  Mackenzie,  "Free  Press"  Office,  Inverness. 

TREASURER. 
Geo.  J.  Campbell,  Solicitor,  Castle  Street. 

COUNCIL. 

Donald  Campbell,  Draper,  Bridge  Street. 

John  Murdoch,  "Highlander"  Office,  Inverness. 

James  Eraser,  C.E. 

Colin  Chisholm,  Namur  Cottage. 

William  Macdonald,  Builder,  Hilton. 

LIBRARIAN. 
John  Whyte,  "Highlander"  Office. 

BARD. 
Mrs.  Mary  Mackellar. 

PIPER. 
Pipe-Major  Alexander  Maclennan. 

BANKERS. 
The  Caledonian  Banking  Company. 


COMUNN  GAILIG  INBHIR-NIS. 


CO-SHUIDHEACHADH. 

1.  'S  e  aimn  a'  Chomuinn  "  COMUNN 

2.  'S  e  tha  an  run  a'  Chomuinn : — Na  buill  a  dheanamh 
iomlan  'sa'  Ghailig;  cinneas  Canaine,  Bardachd,  agus  Ciuil  na 
Gaidhealtachd ;  Bardachd,  Seanachas,  Sgeulachd,  Leabhraichean 
agus  Sgriobhanna  's  a'  chanain  sin  a  thearnadh  o  dhearmad; 
Leabhar-lann  a  chur  suas  ann  am  baile  Inbhir-Nis  de  leabhraichibh 
agus   sgriobhannaibh — ann   an  canain  sam  bith — a  bhuineas  do 
Chaileachd,  lonnsachaidh,  Eachdraidheachd  agus  Sheanachasaibh 
nan  Gaidheal  no  do  thairbhe  na  Gaidhealtachd ;  c6ir  agus  cliu  nan 
Gaidheal  a  dhion ;  agus  na  Gaidheil  a  shoirbheachadh  a  ghna  ge 
b'e  ait  am  bi  iad. 

3.  'S  iad  a  bhitheas  'nam  buill,  cuideachd  a  tha  gabhail  suim 
do  runtaibh  a'  Chomuinn,  agus  so  mar  gheibh  iad  a  staigh: — 
Tairgidh  aon  bhall  an  t-iarradair,  daingnichidh  ball  eile  an  tairgse, 
agus,  aig  an  ath  choinneamh,  ma  roghnaicheas  a'  mhor-chuid  le 
crannchur,   nithear  ball  dhith-se   no  dheth-san   cho   luath  's  a 
phaidhear  an  chomhthoirt ;  cuirear  crainn  le  ponair  dhubh  agus 
gheal,  ach,  gu  so  bhi  dligheach,  feumaidh  tri  buill  dheug  an  crainn 
a  chur.    Feudaidh  an  Comunn  Urram  Cheannardan  a  thoirt  do 
urrad  'us  seachd  daoine  cliuiteach. 

4.  Paidhidh  Ball  Urramach,  'sa'  bhliadhna      .£010     6 
Ball  Cumanta    .         .         .         .         .        .050 

Foghlainte 010 

Agus  ni  Ball-beatha  aon  chomh-thoirt  de     .      770 

5.  'S  a'  Cheud-mhios,  gach  bliadhna,  roghnaichear,  le  crainn, 
Co-chomhairle  a  riaghlas  gnothuichean  a'  Chomuinn,  's  e  sin — aon 
Cheann,  tri  lar-chinn,  Cleireach  Urramach,  Runaire,  lonmhasair, 
agus  coig  buill  eile — feumaidh  iad  uile  Gailig  a  thuigsinn  's  a 
bhruidhmn ;  agus  ni  coigear  dhiubh  coinneamh, 


GAELIC    SOCIETY    OF    INVERNESS. 


CONSTITUTION. 

1.  The  Society  shall  be  called  the  "GAELIC  SOCIETY  OP 
INVERNESS." 

2.  The  objects  of  the  Society  are  the  perfecting  of  the  Mem- 
bers in  the  use  of  the  Gaelic  language;  the  cultivation  of  the 
language,  poetry,  and  music  of  the  Scottish  Highlands ;  the  res- 
cuing from  oblivion  of  Celtic  poetry,  traditions,  legends,  books, 
and  manuscripts;  the  establishing  in  Inverness  of  a  library,  to 
consist  of  books  and  manuscripts,  in  whatever  language,  bearing 
upon  the  genius,  the  literature,  the  history,  the  antiquities,  and 
the  material  interests  of  the  Highlands  and  Highland  people ;  the 
vindication  of  the  rights  and  character  of  the  Gaelic  people ;  and, 
generally,  the  furtherance  of  their  interests  whether  at  home  or 
abroad. 

3.  The  Society  shall  consist  of  persons  who  take  a  lively  in- 
terest in  its  objects,  admission  to  be  as  follows : — The  candidate 
shall  be  proposed  by  one  member,  seconded  by  another,  balloted 
for  at  the  next  meeting,  and,  if  he  or  she  have  a  majority  of  votes 
and  have  paid  the  subscription,  be  declared  a  member.    The  ballot 
shall  be  taken  with  black  beans  and  white ;  and  no  election  shall 
be  valid  unless  thirteen  members  vote.     The  Society  has  power  to 
elect  distinguished  men  as  Honorary  Chieftains  to  the  number  of 
seven. 

4.  The  Annual  Subscription  shall  be,  for — 

Honorary  Members     .         .         .         .      £0  10     6 
Ordinary  Members     .         .         .         .         050 

Apprentices 010 

A  Life  Member  shall  make  one  payment  of  7     7     0 

5.  The  management  of  the  affairs  of  the  Society  shall  be  en- 
trusted to  a  Council,  chosen  annually,  by  ballot,  in  the  month  of 
January,  to  consist  of  a  Chief,  three  Chieftains,  an  Honorary 
Secretary,  a  Secretary,  a  Treasurer,  and  five  other  Members  of  the 
Society,  all  of  whom  shall  understand  and  sper.k  Gaelic ;  five  to 
form  a  quorum. 


X  CO-SHUIDHEACHADH. 

6.  Cumar  coinneamhan  a'  Chomuinn  gach  seachduin  o  thois- 
each  an  Deicheamh  mios  gu  deireadh  Mhairt,  agus  gach  ceithir- 
la-deug  o  thoiseach  Ghiblein  gu  deireadh  an  Naothamh-mios.     '8 
i  a'  Ghailig  a  labhairear  gach  oidhche  mu'n  seach  aig  a  chuid  a's 
lugha. 

7.  Cuiridh  a'  Cho-chomhairle  la  air  leth  anns  an  t-Seachdamh- 
mios  air-son  Coinneamh  Bhliadhnail  aig  an  cumar  Co-dheuchainn 
agus  air  an  toirear  duaisean  air-son  Piobaireachd  'us  ciuil  Ghaidh- 
ealach  eile ;  anns  an  fheasgar  bithidh  co-dheuchainn  air  Leughadh 
agus  aithris  Bardachd  agus  Rosg  nuadh  agus  taghta ;  an  deigh  sin 
cumar  Cuirm  chuideachdail  aig  am  faigh  nithe  Gaidhealach  rogh- 
ainn  'san  uirghioll,  ach  gun  roinn  a  dhiultadh  dhaibh-san  nach  tuig 
Gailig.     Giulainear  cosdas  na  co-dheucliainne  le  trusadh  sonraichte 
a  dheanamh  agus  cuideachadh  iarraidh  o'n  t-sluagh. 

8.  Cha  deanar  atharrachadh  sam  bith  air  coimh  dhealbhadh  a' 
Chomuinn  gun  aontachadh  dha  thrian  de  na'm  bheil  de  luchd- 
bruidhinn  Gailig  air  a'  chlar-ainm.     Ma's  miann  atharrachadh  a 
dheanamh  a's  eiginn  sin  a  chur  an  ceill  do  gach  ball,  mios,  aig  a' 
chuid  a's  lugha,  roimh'n  choinneamh  a  dh'fheudas  ant-atharrachadh 
a  dheanamh.     Feudaidh  ball  nach  bi  a  lathair  roghnachadh  le 
lamh-aithne. 

9.  Taghaidh  an  Comunn  Bard,  Piobaire,  agus  Fear-leabhar- 
lann. 


Ullaichear  gach  Paipear  agus  Leughadh,  agus  giulainear  gach 
Deasboireachd  le  run  fosgailte,  duineil,  durachdach  air-son  na 
firimi,  agus  cuirear  gach  ni  air  aghaidh  aim  an  spiorad  caomh, 
glan,  agus  a  reir  riaghailtean  dearbhta. 


CONSTITUTION.  XI 

6.  The  Society  shall  hold  its  meetings  weekly  from  the  begin- 
ning of  October  to  the  end  of  March,  and  fortnightly  from  the 
beginning  of  April  to  the  end  of  September.     The  business  shall 
be  carried  on  in  Gaelic  on  every  alternate  night  at  least. 

7.  There  shall  be  an  Annual  Meeting  in  the  month  of  July, 
the  day  to  be  named  by  the  Committee  for  the  time  being,  when 
Competitions  for  Prizes  shall  take  place  in  Pipe  and  other  High- 
land Music.     In  the  evening  there  shall  be  Competitions  in  Read- 
ing and  Reciting  Gaelic  Poetry  and  Prose,  both  original  and  select. 
After  which  there  will  be  a  Social  Meeting,  at  which  Gaelic  sub- 
jects shall  have  the  preference,  but  not  to  such  an  extent  as 
entirely  to  preclude  participation  by  persons  who  do  not  under- 
stand Gaelic.     The  expenses  of  the  competitions  shall  be  defrayed 
out  of  a  special  fund,  to  which  the  general  public  shall  be  invited 
to  subscribe. 

8.  It  is  a  fundamental  rule  of  the  Society  that  no  part  of  the 
Constitution  shall  be  altered  without  the  assent  of  two-thirds  of 
the  Gaelic  speaking  Members  on  the  roll ;  but  if  any  alterations 
be  required  due  notice  of  the  same  must  be  given  to  each  member, 
at  least  one  month  before  the  meeting  takes  place  at  which  the 
alteration  is  proposed  to  be  made.     Absent  Members  may  vote  by 
mandates. 

9.  The  Society  shall  elect  a  Bard,  a  Piper,  and  a  Librarian. 


All  Papers  and  Lectures  shall  be  prepared,  and  all  Discussions 
carried  on,  with  an  honest,  earnest,  and  manful  desire  for  truth ; 
and  all  proceedings  shall  be  conducted  in  a  pure  and  gentle  spirit, 
and  according  to  the  usually  recognised  rules. 


INTRODUCTION. 


IN  presenting  the  Members  with  the  eighth  volume  of  the  Society's 
Transactions  a  few  general  remarks  relative  to  the  work  of  our  last 
session,  and  the  present  state  of  Celtic  matters,  may  not  be  out  of 
place. 

The  volume  opens  with  a  report  of  our  Seventh  Annual 
Assembly,  which,  it  will  be  seen,  was  in  every  way  a  success — 
its  only  drawback  being  the  unavoidable  absence  of  the  Chief. 
After  it  we  had  a  large  accession  to  cur  membership,  and  the 
Society  was  meeting  with  the  utmost  encouragement  when  the 
country  was  overtaken  by  the  financial  disasters  which  have,  for 
some  time  past,  so  much  engrossed  the  public  mind.  As  might 
naturally  be  expected  that,  combined  with  a  winter  of  unprecedented 
severity,  interfered  to  a  considerable  degree  with  the  number 
and  success  of  our  meetings  during  the  first  half  of  the  session. 

In  January  last  the  Annual  Dinner  was  held.  Sir  Kenneth 
Mackenzie  of  Gairloch,  presided,  and  delivered  an  excellent 
address  on  the  crofter,  as  he  was  and  as  he  is.  There  was,  notwith- 
standing the  untoward  state  of  matters  throughout  the  country, 
a  large  attendance,  and  several  excellent  speeches  were  delivered. 
From  that  date  onwards  our  meetings  went  on  with  uninterrupted 
success.  They  were  all  fairly  well  attended,  and  papers  on  a 
variety  of  subjects  of  interest  to  the  Celt  were  read  and  discussed. 
These  will  be  found  in  the  present  volume, 


XIV  INTRODUCTION. 

It  may  not  be  out  of  place  to  add  (although  it  does  not 
properly  come  within  the  scope  of  this  volume)  that  the  Eighth 
Annual  Assembly  was  probably  the  most  successful  ever  held  under 
the  auspices  of  the  Society.  The  Chief,  Mr.  Lachlan  Macdonald 
of  Skaebost,  presided,  and  among  his  supporters  were  Professor 
Blackie ;  Eev.  Alex.  Macgregor,  Inverness  ;  Eev.  Alex.  Cameron, 
Brodick,  and  many  other  well-known  Celts.  The  hall  was  every- 
where crowded,  and  many  were  unable  to  gain  admission.  The 
programme  was  varied  and  interesting,  and  the  proceedings  through- 
out hearty,  and  of  the  most  enjoyable  character. 

With  regard  to  Celtic  work  elsewhere,  a  few  facts  relative  to 
Celtic  publications  will  illustrate  its  present  activity.  Mr.  Archi- 
bald Sinclair,  of  Glasgow,  has  just  published  his  popular  collection  of 
Gaelic  songs — An  t-Oranaiche — in  a  cheap  handy  form ;  and  Messrs. 
Logan  &  Co.,  of  Aberdeen  and  Inverness,  are  now  publishing  a 
series  of  Gaelic  songs  with  English  translations,  arranged  with 
symphonies  and  accompaniments  for  the  pianoforte.  The  same  firm 
have  acquired  Captain  Eraser's  collection  of  Highland  airs,  and 
re-issued  it  in  handsome  tartan  binding.  Mr.  I^oble,  bookseller, 
Inverness,  has  published  a  revised  edition  of  Mr.  Lachlan  Macbean's 
Easy  Lessons  in  Gaelic ;  whilst  Messrs.  Maclachlan  &  Stewart,  of 
Edinburgh,  have  published  the  first  part  of  a  similar  work  by 
Mr.  D.  C.  Macpherson.  Major  Mackenzie,  of  Findon,  has  published 
a  series  of  Genealogical  Tables  of  the  Clan  Mackenzie,  and  Mr. 
Alex.  Mackenzie,  of  the  Celtic  Magazine,  a  handsome  volume  on  the 
history  of  the  same  Clan.  The  latter  gentleman  is  now  publishing 
a  history  of  the  Clan  Macdonald,  and  proposes  to  re-issue  shortly 
General  Stewart's  Sketches  of  the  Highlanders,  bringing  the  history 
of  the  Highland  regiments  down  to  date.  A  bulky  and  interesting 
volume  on  "  Loch  Etive  and  the  Sons  of  Uisneach  "  (said  to  be 


INTRODUCTION*.  xv 

written  by  Dr.  Angus  Smith,  of  Manchester),  has  recently  been 
published  by  Messrs.  Macmillan  &  Co.  ;  and  the  same  publishers 
are  preparing  a  volume  on  Celtic  Literature,  to  form  one  of  their 
series  of  Literature  Primers.  Mrs.  Mackellar,  the  Bard  of  our 
Society,  has  a  volume  of  her  Gaelic  and  English  poetry  in  the 
press,  which  will  be  welcomed  by  a  wide  circle  of  readers ;  and 
the  same  may  be  said  of  a  collection  of  Gaelic  Proverbs  and  familiar 
phrases,  based  on  Mackintosh's  collection,  which  is  being  issued 
under  the  scholarly  care  of  Sheriff  Nicolson,  of  Kirkcudbright. 
The  Eev.  Alex.  Cameron,  Brodick,  proposes  to  publish  a  new 
quarterly,  to  be  called  The  Celtic  Review;  and  altogether  Celtic 
scholarship  in  every  department  appears  to  be  both  active  and 
progressive. 

In  all  the  large  towns  of  the  south,  our  countrymen  have  formed 
themselves  into  organizations  similar  to  our  own ;  arid  in  some 
places — notably  in  Glasgow — they  hold  weekly  meetings,  at  which 
they  not  only  discuss  different  questions  affecting  the  welfare  of  the 
Highlands,  but  also  spend  enjoyable  evenings  in  illustrating  the 
song  and  the  dance  of  our  ancestors. 

The  out-door  amusements  of  the  Gael  have  also  undergone  a 
revival,  and  Camanachd  or  Ionian  appears  to  be  the  favourite 
athletic  game  of  our  countrymen  in  the  south. 

Altogether  the  lover  of  Celtic  matters  has  no  reason  to  despond. 

INVERNESS,  Dec.  4, 1879. 


TRANSACTIONS. 


SEVENTH  ANNUAL  ASSEMBLY. 

The  Seventh  Annual  Assembly  of  the  Society  was  held  in  the 
Music  Hall,  on  Thursday,  July  11,  1878.  There  was  a  large  at- 
tendance. The  Chief  of  the  Society,  Mr.  John  Mackay,  of  Swan- 
sea, was  to  have  presided,  but,  to  the  great  regret  of  all,  he  was 
unable  to  attend.  The  following  letter  addressed  by  him  to  the 
Secretary  was  at  the  outset  read  to  the  meeting  : — 

"  Eogart  House, 

"Swansea,  9th  July,  1878. 

"  My  dear  Sir, — I  am  grieved  to  have  to  tell  that  I  am  now 
more  than  a  week  lying  ill  in  bed,  attended  daily  by  a  doctor,  thus 
precluding  all  hope  of  my  being  in  my  place  at  the  Annual  Assem- 
bly of  the  Gaelic  Society  on  the  llth.  1  need  not  assure  you  how 
deeply  distressed  I  am  at  this  disappointment.  Seeing  the  impos- 
sibility and  hopelessness  of  attending  in  person,  I  send  you  by  post 
draft  of  the  address  I  intended  to  deliver,  that  you  may  do  with  it 
what  you  please.  If  it  is  thought  worth  to  read  it,  perhaps  Mr. 
Murdoch  may  be  persuaded  to  do  so.  He  is  ever  ready  to  assist  a 
Highlander  in  distress.  As  you  will  see,  the  theme  is  a  review  of 
the  Society's  work  from  its  beginning  to  the  present  time — credit- 
able to  the  Society  itself,  and  to  the  town  in  which  it  has  its  head- 
quarters. 

"  I  am  conscious  of  how  imperfectly  I  related  the  good  work  done 
by  the  Society,  and  the  influence  it  exerted  during  its  seven  years 
of  existence  ;  but  when  it  is  considered  that  the  relation  was  strung 
together  at  different  intervals  on  a  sick  bed,  after  all  hopes  of  per- 
sonal attendance  had  to  be  given  up,  I  trust  all  imperfections  and 
omissions  may  be  overlooked,  and  the  will  to  do  justice  to  the 
patriotic  'work  of  the  Society  taken  for  the  deed. 

"  Sincerely  hoping  the  Seventh  Annual  Assembly  may  be  a 


2  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

great  success,  and  give  a  farther  impetus  to  the  intelligent  patriotism 
of  the  members  of  the  Society, 

"  I  remain,  my  dear  Sir, 

"  Yours  very  faithfully, 

"  JOHN  MACK  AT. 
"  William  Mackenzie,  Esq." 

Mr.  Murdoch  then  proposed  that  Captain  Macra  Chisholm,  who 
had  so  very  excellently  presided  at  the  last  celebration  of  the  So- 
ciety, should  take  the  chair,  which  Captain  Chisholm  did  amid  loud 
cheering.  Around  him  on  the  platform  were — Provost  Simpson, 
Eev.  A.  Macgregor,  M.A. ;  Bailie  Black ;  Messrs.  D.  Sharp,  Glas- 
gow ;  John  Mackay,  of  Ben  Eeay  ;  .D.  A.  Macrae,  Monar ;  E.  Mac- 
rae, Ardtulloch ;  Dun  Macrae,  Ardantoul ;  E.  Macrae,  Braintra ; 
Huntly  Eraser,  Inverness ;  Colin  Chisholm,  Namur  Cottage  ; 
A.  Mackenzie,  Celtic  Magazine;  "Wm.  Mackay,  solicitor;  Charles 
Mackay ;  J.  Murdoch,  of  The  Highlander,  &c. 

The  Secretary,  Mr.  Wm.  Mackenzie,  announced  apologies  for 
absence  from  Cluny  Macpherson  ;  Sir  Kenneth  S.  Mackenzie  of 
Gairloch ;  Sir  George  Macpherson-Grant  of  Ballindalloch  ;  Lord 
Keidhaven ;  Mackintosh  of  Mackintosh;  C.  Eraser-Mackintosh,  M..P. ; 
Donald  Mackay,  Ceylon  ;  Thos.  Mackenzie,  Broadstone  Park  ;  Angus 
Mackintosh  of  Holme  ;  C.  S.  Jerram,  Windlesham  ;  E.  Mackintosh 
of  Eaigmore ;  J.  F.  Campbell  of  Islay ;  Dr.  Charles  Mackay ;  Col. 
Mackenzie  oi  Parkmount  ;  Bailie  Macdonald,  Aberdeen ;  Major 
Forbes,  78th  Highlanders  ;  Walter  Carruthers,  of  the  Courier; 
Charles  Innes,  solicitor ;  P.  Burgess,  Drumnadrochit ;  K.  F.  Mac- 
rae, Achlorachan ;  and  A.  G.  Nicolson,  Glasgow.  The  following 
Gaelic  telegram  was  also  announced  from  Mrs.  Mary  Mackellar, 
the  bard  of  the  Society : — "  Beannachd  a'  Bhaird  do  'n  Chomunn. 
Duilich  nach  'eil  mi  leibh.  Sith  agus  pailteas,  gradh  agus  solas 
duibh !  " 

The  Chairman  having  made  a  few  preliminary  observations,  a 
party  of  ladies  appeared  on  the  platform  and  sang  with  good  effect — 
"  H6  'n  clo  dubh,  b'  fhearr  am  breacan." 

The  Chief's  address  was  then  read  by  Mr.  Murdoch  as  fol- 
lows : — 

We  are  met  here  this  evening  to  celebrate  the  Seventh  Annual 
Assembly  of  this  honourable  and  patriotic  Society,  which  has  now 
entered  into  the  outer  ring  of  the  mystical  cycle  of  time — the 
seventh  year  of  its  duration.  It  has  succeeded  in  doing  a  great 
amount  of  good  and  earnest  patriotic  work  among  Highlanders  at 
home  and  abroad.  It  has  aroused  feelings  of  patriotism  amongst 


Annual  Assembly.  3 

all  classes,  which  were  well  nigh  becoming  dormant.  It  has  excited 
to  healthy  action  the  minds  of  many  true  lovers  of  their  fatherland, 
who  began  to  despair  of  the  Highlands  ever  again  being  anything 
more  than  a  huge  hunting  ground  and  immense  farms — the  abode 
of  Mmrods,  shepherds,  or  debased  mammon-worshippers.  It  has 
animated  the  hearts  of  those  patriots  who  uselessly  gave  themselves 
up  to  lamentations  upon  the  decay  of  all  that  was  best,  dearest,  and 
noblest  in  the  past,  who  bewailed  the  loss  of  a  population  at  once 
the  most  loyal,  the  most  law-abiding,  and  the  bravest  in  any  land, 
who  mourned  over  ths  neglect  and  disuse  of  the  language,  poetry, 
and  music  of  their  native  country,  and  above  all,  and  more  than 
all,  who  grieved  with  heartfelt  sadness  over  the  seeming  divorce  of 
that  grand  old  attachment  that  existed  between  chiefs  and  people, 
and  that  caused  the  "  Land  of  the  Mountain  and  the  Flood  "  to  be 
viewed  with  as  intense  a  curiosity  by  strangers,  as  the  extraordinary 
profusion  and  diversity  on  its  surface  of  all  that  is  beautiful  and 
sublime  in  nature,  commanded  their  unqualified  admiration.  All 
this  and  more,  has  been  effected  by  the  action  of  the  Gaelic  Society 
of  Inverness.  Since  the  establishment  of  this  Society  an  impetus 
has  been  given  to  Highland  sentiment  in  a  manner  the  most  healthy, 
such  as  it  never  before  possessed  or  assumed  in  any  previous  period. 
The  desponding  have  been  encouraged,  the  doubting  have  been  re- 
assured, the  lukewarm  have  been  stimulated,  the  generous  have  been 
animated,  while  the  croaker  and  the  inimical  have  been  put  to 
silence.  The  Language  and  the  Poetry  of  the  country  have  been 
fostered,  and  made  to  hold  up  their  venerable  heads  under  its  fos- 
tering auspices.  The  music  of  the  Highlands,  once  reputed  barbar- 
ous, has  been  popularised,  and  found  to  be  simply  delicious,  even 
in  its  wildest  and  weirdest  strains.  The  general  result  has  been 
that  a  manly,  healthy,  active  spirit  has  been  aroused,  an  ardent  de- 
sire to  forward  measures  for  the  benefit  of  all  classes,  high  or  low, 
and  more  especially  to  cultivate  the  Language  and  Literature  of  the 
Highlands,  which  to  the  utter  disgrace  of  past  generations  of  High- 
landers had  been  so  wofully  neglected.  Papers  on  these  various 
topics,  interesting  from  every  point  of  view,  have  been  read,  and 
published  in  the  "  Transactions,"  which  of  themselves  would  do 
credit  to  any  society.  Addresses  have  also  been  delivered  by  vari- 
ous learned  gentlemen,  at  the  half-yearly  meetings,  of  the  deepest 
interest  to  society  at  large,  and  affording  enjoyment  and  recreation 
of  the  most  healthful  kind  to  the  people  of  Inverness,  and  to  all 
Highlanders  wherever  located — a  chain  of  circumstances  which,  a 
few  years  ago,  it  would  have  been  considered  madness  to  attempt, 
much  less  to  believe  possible  to  encompass.  The  Gaelic  Society  of 


4  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness- 

Inverness  has  deserved  well  of  the  country,  and  all  true  lovers  of 
the  Fatherland. 

Following  in  the  train  of  this  revival  appeared  "  The  High- 
lander," devoting  his  service  to  the  welfare  of  the  people,  preaching 
to  them,  and  teaching  them  the  relative  duties  all  members  of  a 
prosperous  community  owe  to  each  other,  and  are  bound  for  the 
common  good  and  welfare  of  the  State  to  concede  to  each  other, 
in  order  to  be  united,  strong,  useful,  and  happy ;  holding  aloft,  with 
all  the  fearlessness  of  his  nature,  the  grand  traditions  of  the  past 
as  objects  of  reverence  and  example,  to  be  moulded  into  the  new 
order  of  things  about  to  be  accomplished — showing  that  the  strength 
of  a  community  does  not  entirely  lie  in  money-bags,  nor  in  the  pros- 
perity of  one  or  two  of  the  less  numerous  classes,  but  in  the  general 
prosperity  of  all  ranks  and  degrees  of  men,  and  that  in  a  well-ordered 
community  the  peer  and  the  peasant  can  exist  side  by  side,  and  be 
all  the  happier  and  better  ;  exposing,  without  fear  of  consequences,  at 
the  bar  of  public  opinion  all  that  is  antagonistic  to  real  progress  in 
class  legislation,  all  antiquated  ideas,  notions,  and  excesses  in 
feudalism,  which  are  detrimental  to  the  growth  of  a  vigorous  and 
virtuous  population  in  the  Highlands  ;  encouraging  the  remnant 
left  of  that  once  brave  population  to  hold  up  their  heads  like  their 
forefathers  in  the  days  of  other  years,  and  be  depressed  no  more,  but 
manfully  seek  for  redress  of  their  grievances  directly  from  those  who 
have  it  in  their  power  to  grant  it,  and  be  neither  curs  nor  moral 
cowards  in  the  face  of  the  biggest  and  greatest  in  the  land — men  of 
like  flesh  and  blood  as  themselves — who  will  do  the  right  thing 
when  properly  influenced  and  advised. 

We  were  not  long  exulting  in  the  conduct  of  this  champion 
when  another  made  his  appearance  upon  the  scene,  visiting  our 
houses  every  month,  with  ever  new  and  varied  refreshments  of  the 
daintiest  kind — History,  Folklore,  Legends,  Poetry,  and  Music. 
He,  too,  has  a  strong  cudgel  in  his  hand,  which  he  wields  like  a 
master,  and  surprised  many  by  boldly  asserting,  without  fear  of  con- 
tradiction, that  the  "  Highland  crofter "  was  the  most  depressed, 
oppressed,  and  repressed  member  of  the  great  British  nation  ;  that 
there  was  neither  "  Poetry  nor  Prose "  in  his  lot,  that  the  time 
had  come  either  to  ameliorate  his  condition  or  banish  him  for  ever 
to  the  backwoods  of  America,  to  add  to  the  strength  and  power  of 
Brother  Jonathan,  or  to  assist  Miss  Columbia  in  her  onward  pro- 
gress, and  wipe  away  the  stigma  ever  exposed  to  view  on  the  bonnie 
braes  and  hill-sides  of  Gaeldom.  The  refrain  of  this  "  ditty"  has 
been  taken  up  and  echoed  from  Land's  End  to  John  O'Groats,  from 
the  Scotsman  in  Edinburgh  to  the  Echo  in  London  town,  with  a 
bewildering,  though  diversifying,  unanimity. 


Annual  Assembly.  5 

The  grievances  complained  of  were  admitted  to  be  of  long 
standing,  known  to  all,  patent  to  all,  acknowledged  to  be  unde- 
served— mildly,  and  sometimes  unmurmuringly,  borne,  and  above 
all,  however  much  might  may  have  overborne  right,  powder  and  shot 
were  never  thought  of  as  a  means  of  redress,  nor  as  instruments 
of  revenge.  All  honour  to  the  brave  population  who  know  how  to 
endure  without  disgracing  their  bright  escutcheon  !  The  time  is  at 
hand  when  their  case  will  have  consideration.  "  The  darkness  of 
to-day  will  issue  in  a  brighter  to-morrow."  "Wait  a  little  longer." 

A  third  champion  came  upon  the  scene,  more  doughty  still, 
with  a  double-edged  sword,  as  well  as  with  a  grey  goose  quill.  He 
took  nobles,  gentles,  and  simples  captive,  stormed  strongholds, 
castles,  and  halls ;  nothing  withstood  him.  Go  on  he  would,  was 
welcomed  by  all,  and  sent  away  rejoicing.  He  was  the  champion 
of  the  "  Gaelic  Language  and  Literature,"  as  well  as  the  champion 
of  all  Gaelic-speaking  people.  When  all  others  despaired  of  raising 
the  necessary  funds  for  the  establishment  of  a  Celtic  Chair,  when 
others  attempted  and  failed,  the  fearless  and  gallant  Blackie  took 
his  crook  and  plaid,  went  forth  upon  his  Gaelic  crusade,  and  suc- 
ceeded, after  an  arduous  struggle,  in  securing  more  than  he  antici- 
pated— £12,000 — for  the  endowment  of  a  professorship  of  that 
ancient  and  venerable  language  we  all  love  so  well.  Such  is  the 
reward  of  bravery  and  perseverance  in  a  good  cause.  Such  are  a 
few  of  the  phases  in  modern  history,  the  origin  of  which,  date  from 
the  banks  of  the  Ness — through  the  medium  of  the  Gaelic  Society. 

There  is  yet  another  important  event  that  must  be  mentioned 
in  passing,  in  connection  with  this  Society  and  others  of  kindred 
blood — the  introduction  of  Gaelic  teaching  in  Highland  Schools. 
It  is  said  that  the  pronunciation  of  English  amongst  the  people  of 
Inverness  has  been,  and  is  still  justly  noted  for  its  intrinsic  purity, 
and  for  its  being  little,  if  at  all,  affected  by  such  broad  doric  pro- 
vincialisms as  are  everywhere  impressed  on  the  varieties  of  the 
Lowland  dialect.  This  comparatively  correct  and  elegant  English 
you  have  acquired — purer  by  far  than  that  of  most  parts  of  England 
itself — is,  by  some,  ascribed  to  the  modelling  influence  of  Cromwell's 
soldiery  when  they  were  amongst  you.  The  true  reason  and  cause 
of  it  are  not  so  far  to  be  sought,  for  it  seems  rather  to  have  arisen, 
and  to  be  yet  arising  from  the  fact  of  your  English  being  acquired, 
not  by  lessons  of  imitation,  but  by  and  through  the  process  of 
translating  from  your  mother  tongue,  the  venerable  Gaelic,  a  cir- 
cumstance which  conduces  not  to*  a  corrupt  spoken  language,  but 
directly  to  the  pure  English  literature.  It  is  said  that  the  debatable 
ground  in  the  west  of  Ireland,  between  the  Irish  districts  and  the 


6  Gaelic  Socieiy  of  Inverness. 

Anglo-Irish  territories,  exhibit  the  same  phenomenon  as  Scotland 
has  in  Inverness,  for  there  is  poured  forth  from  the  lips  of  the 
peasantry  an  English  so  untainted  hy  brogue  and  provincialism  as 
would  delight  the  ears  of  a  master  of  orthoepy.  In  the  nature  of 
things  it  must  be  so  wherever  the  vernacular  itself  is  properly 
taught  and  the  English  learned  through  the  vernacular,  their  idioms 
contrasted,  and  their  differences  pointed  out  by  a  master  teacher. 

What  about  the  "  Gaelic  Nuisance "  now  1  It  has  fallen  to 
the  ground,  vainly  hoping  in  its  fall,  like  the  Ostrich  in  its  flight, 
to  escape  the  critical  gaze,  by  the  pretence  of  not  seeing  what  any 
unprejudiced  person  could  not  avoid  seeing,  as  being  the  end  and 
aim  of  Gaelic  teaching  in  Highland  Schools.  A  mistake  more 
monstrous  was  never  made  by  any  body  of  sensible  and  enlightened 
gentlemen,  ministers  of  the  Church  of  Scotland,  men  of  education, 
in  whose  hands  the  direction  of  education  was  placed  by  the 
Government  of  the  day,  than  was  committed  in  the  Highlands  in 
the  18th  and  part  of  the  19th  century.  All  along  the  line,  and 
all  the  way  along,  the  invariable  plan  was  to  ignore  the  vernacular, 
and  attempt  to  educate  the  youth  through  the  medium  only  of  a 
language  of  which  'they  absolutely  knew  nothing.  They  were 
taught  to  read,  not  to  comprehend,  the  book,  or  the  words  of  which 
it  was  composed,  but  to  imitate  sounds,  and  to  repeat  the  deciphering 
of  signs  belonging  to  a  language  of  which  they  were  totally  ignorant, 
but  which  they  were  supposed  to  be  learning,  and  when  they  left 
school  they  found  themselves  possessed  of  acquirements  which  they 
were  utterly  incapable  of  turning  to  practical  account.  That  was 
not  the  way  the  Inverness  people  acquired  such  a  correct  and  so 
pure  a  hold  of  the  English  language  and  its  pronunciation.  The 
important  event  alluded  to  having  been  accomplished  (and  in  which 
this  Society,  in  conjunction  with  kindred  Societies,  may  take  a  just 
pride),  it  was  very  flattering  that  the  Inverness  people  should  have 
joyfully  and  demonstratively  acclaimed  that  event,  and  thanked 
their  learned  M.P.  for  the  manner  in  which  he  carried  out  and 
negotiated  the  concession  of  Gaelic  being  taught  in  the  public 
schools  of  the  Highlands  wherever  wanted,  wherever  needful.  You 
appreciated  the  virtue  of  the  vernacular  in  your  own  education, 
and  the  command  it  gave  you  in  the  proper  appreciation  and  under- 
standing of  the  English,  and  you  hurled  back  to  where  it  came 
from  the  stigma  of  the  "Gaelic  Nuisance." 

Another  good  thing  done  by  the  Society  was  the  laying  of  a 
basis  for  a  Federation  of  Celtic  Societies,  as  was  done  at  the 
"  Mackintosh  Demonstration  "  in  April  last,  at  which  you  celebrated 
the  Government  concession  of  Gaelic  being  taught  in  the  Highland 


Annual  Assembly.  7 

Schools.  In  that  you  took  the  detached  fragments  of  Celtic  So- 
cieties and  united  them,  that  they  might  pull  together  shoulder  to 
shoulder,  in  carrying  on  the  noble  work  which  you  have  so  well 
inaugurated. 

The  great  victory  you  then  celebrated  was  partly  your  own 
work,  the  work  of  various  Societies,  and,  more  than  all,  the  work 
of  the  Eight  Kev.  Dr.  Maclauchlan  and  other  able  coadjutors. 
Now,  do  not  be  alarmed  at  the  title  I  have  given  the  reverend 
gentleman.  I  do  not  wish  him  to  become  a  bishop.  You  know, 
as  a  Highlander,  I  may  be  allowed  to  use  a  little  hyperbole ;  but 
there  is  no  exaggeration  at  all  in  the  meaning  I  wish  to  convey  to 
you  by  calling  him  Eight  Reverend,  for  of  all  the  clergymen  of  the 
Churches  of  Scotland — Free  or  otherwise  (I  wish  there  was  no  dis- 
tinction)— he  is,  above  all,  the  one  who  has  done  most  for  the  culti- 
vation and  culture  of  our  venerable  language ;  he,  of  all  others,  by 
virtue  of  good  work,  by  dint  of  labour  and  hard  study,  when  it  was 
not  fashionable  to  do  it,  contributed  more  than  any  other  living 
man  to  bring  our  native  language  into  repute,  knocked  again 
and  again  at  the  citadel  gate,  and  finally,  with  the  aid  of  Mr.  Fraser- 
Mackintosh,  wrested  victory  from  an  unwilling  oligarchy  at  a 
moment  when  the  smallest  concession  was  almost  despaired  of — a 
victory  no  less  real,  no  less  useful,  in  fact  much  more  useful,  a 
greater  boon  to  Highland  society  at  large  than  the  repeal  of  the 
Act  proscribing  the  tartan,  once  the  terror,  now  the  delight,  of  the 
Saxon  himself.  Who  would  have  thought,  seven  years  ago,  that 
the  Parliament  of  Britain  could  be  brought  by  the  expression  of 
public  opinion  to  concede  even  a  grievance  in  Highland  education. 
Take  courage,  watch  events,  wait  and  keep  your  powder  dry,  for 
other  measures  of  great  importance  to  the  Highlands  are  looming 
in  the  horizon.  The  long-wished  boon  is  obtained ;  let  it  be  put 
properly  and  thoroughly  into  play  and  practice,  and  before  another 
cycle  of  seven  years  shall  have  revolved  we  shall  see  Highland  lads 
and  Highland  lasses  making  greater  progress  in  learning  English, 
acquiring  such  a  pronunciation  of  it  as  may  astonish  even  the 
people  of  Inverness,  and  not  only  that,  but  their  knowledge  of  the 
language  of  their  ancestors  will,  as  well,  be  enlarged  and  perfected, 
and  their  minds  stored  with  all  the  noble  traditions  of  the  past. 

"With  renewed  vigour,  and  redoubled  ardour,  youths  of  the 
Highlands  will  go  forth,  as  in  days  gone  by,  to  carve  a  way  for 
themselves  in  the  battle  of  life,  more  fully  and  better  equipped  for 
the  strife  by  being  bi-lingual  and  tri-lingual,  and,  by  their  good 
conduct,  complete  education,  hardy  habits,  high  moral  principles, 
acquire  credit  for  themselves,  while  reflecting  honour  upon  the  loved 


8  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Fatherland.  Permit  me  emphatically  to  say  that  Gaelic  has  teen 
no  "  bar"  to  the  advancement  of  the  people.  Gaelic  is  the  key  to 
a  Highlander's  heart.  If  officers  in  Highland  regiments  would  try 
to  speak  Gaelic,  they  would  secure  more  recruits,  and  Highland 
regiments  might  indeed  he  national  corps,  and  not  the  hybrids  they 
now  are.  Officers  who  speak  Gaelic  to  Highland  soldiers  command 
their  affection  like  the  late  General  MacBean,  V.C.,  of  the  93rd 
Highlanders,  an  Inverness  man.  If  Highland  proprietors  would 
try  to  learn  Gaelic,  and  speak  it  to  their  people,  they  would  be 
better  liked.  English  is  a  "  bar"  to  their  advancement  if  they  can- 
not speak  to  those  who  pay  them  their  rents.  Let  Highland  pro- 
prietors learn  Gaelic  and  teach  English.  Gaelic  in  the  hands  of  a 
patriotic  proprietor  would  be  a  powerful  lever  to  induce  the  people 
to  improve  their  lands  and  dwellings — in  fact,  it  would  represent 
so  much  capital  to  him. 

Property  in  the  Highlands,  as  elsewhere,  has  its  high  duties  as 
well  as  its  rights.  In  the  Highlands,  it  may  be  said,  that  it  has 
more  duties  to  perform  in  regard  to  the  people  than  elsewhere,  in- 
as-much  as  it  was  by  the  valour  and  exceeding  loyalty  of  the  people 
that  estates  had  been  preserved  to  so  many  families  in  the  High- 
lands for  so  many  centuries,  through  all  the  vicissitudes  of  fortune, 
and  it  is  the  undoubted  duty  of  the  Highland  Chiefs,  the  heads  of 
these  families,  to  show  their  gratitude  to  the  descendants  of  those 
noble  retainers  who  shed  their  blood  in  the  cause  of  these  families, 
by  now  training  them  in  a  better  knowledge  of  husbandry,  in  ap- 
plying to  it  the  science  and  skill  of  the  South,  and  causing  them  to 
be  brought  to  bear  on  every  croft  in  the  North.  Practical  educa- 
tion in  this  department  has  been  sadly  neglected  in  the  Highlands, 
as  much  to  the  loss  of  the  proprietors  as  to  the  detriment  of  the 
people.  The  object  of  all  education  should  be  not  less  to  excite  the 
desire  for  knowledge  than  to  furnish  the  means  of  acquiring  it.  In 
this  respect,  education  in  the  Highlands  has  been  greatly  deficient. 
Instruction  in  agriculture,  in  the  management  of  stock,  in  common 
chemistry  as  applied  to  soils,  would  facilitate  the  production  of  the 
means  of  subsistence.  A  more  secure  tenure  of  the  land  occupied 
by  the  peasantry  would  tend  to  make  them  industrious  and  respect- 
able crofters,  more  diligent  and  more  successful  cultivators  of  the 
soil ;  but  the  effect  of  all  such  measures  depends  upon  the  spirit  and 
the  manner  in  which  they  are  entered  upon,  as  well  as  the  general 
management  with  which  they  are  conducted  through  a  series  of 
years.  Some  Highland  proprietors  in  recent  years,  notably  the 
noble  Sutherland,  the  Mathesons,  the  Grants,  have  not  only  dis- 
tinguished themselves  by  their  considerate  and  kindly  treatment  of 


A  nnual  A  ssembly.  9 

their  peasant  tenantry,  but  have  shown  how  properties  in  the 
Highlands  can  be  improved,  affording  employment  to  the  people, 
dispensing  benefits  broadcast  over  the  land,  adding  wealth  and 
stability  to  the  State,  and  acquiring  for  themselves  the  respect  of 
all,  and  the  affection  of  the  people.  These  are  benefactors  in  the 
land,  they  build  up  a  loftier  population,  they  make  men  more 
manly.  Their  influence  passes  like  morning  light  from  land  to 
land,  and  village  and  city  grow  glad.  May  this  Society  continue  to 
diffuse  around  it  these  influences  and  be  a  light  in  the  Highlands  to 
guide  the  race  in  the  path  of  social,  moral,  and  intellectual  progress, 
until  Highlanders  everywhere  shall  be  as  distinguished  for  all  the 
virtues  which  are  the  flower  and  fruit  of  real  civilization,  as  their 
fathers  were  for  the  virtue  of  bravery  and  chivalry  in  the  times 
that  are  past.  And  in  order  to  this,  let  us  remember  the  noble  and 
brotherly  motto  of  Clanna  nan  Gaidheal  an  guaillibh  a'  cheile. 

The  next  speaker  was  the  Kev.  Mr.  Macgregor.     He  said  : — 

Fhir-suidh'  Urramaich,  a  Bhantighearnan,  agus  a  Dhaoin- 
uaisle, — Tha  mi  'g  iarraidh  maitheanais  oirbh,  an  uair  a  tha  mi 
'gabhail  orm  fein  dithis  dhaoine  coire  a  thoirt  am  fianuis  a'  Cho- 
muinn  so  air  an  oidhche  nochd — dithis  dhaoine  a  tha  cliuiteach  agus 
measail  na'n  inbh  fein — dithis  dhaoine  aig  am  bheil  fior  speis-cridhe 
do  na  Gaidheil  agus  do'n  Ghailig — agus  dithis  a  rinn  dichioll  nach 
bu  bheag  gu  bhi  'lathair  an  so  an  nochd,  chum  eolas  fhaotuinn  air 
a'  Chomunn  so,  agus  chum  am  beachd  d'an  taobh  a  leigeadh  ris  gu 
soilleir.  Cha'n  'eil  teagamh  nach  'eil  cuid  a  lathair  'san  am,  aig  an 
robh  eolas  o  cheann  bhliadhnaichean  air  ais  air  an  da  charaid  chean- 
alta  so,  eadhon  Murachadh  Ban,  agus  Coinneach  Ciobair,  leis  am 
miann  a  nis  beagan  a  labhairt  r'a  cheile  'nur  n-eisdeachd,  mu  na 
cuisean  air  son  am  bheil  sinn  cuideachd  'san  talladh  so  an  uochd. 
Thugaibh  cluas,  uime  sin,  do  na  fir. 

Mur — "  Am  bheil  mo  shuilean  ga  m'  mhealladh,  a  Choinnich 
Chiobair,  an  tusa  da-rireadh  th'an  sol" 

Coin. — "  Is  ini  gun  teagamh,  a  Mhurachaidh  Bhain.  ach  ciod  fo'n 
ghrein  a  thug  an  car  so  thusa,  agus  gun  duil  agad  ris,  an  uair  a 
chunnaic  mi  an  la  roimh  thu?" 

M. — "  Thainig  mi  a  dh-aon  sgriob  a  dh'fhaicinn  a'  Chomuinn 
so  cruinn  cuideachd,  agus  a  shealbhachadh  am  fearas  bheoil  agus 
an  deasboireachd ;  ach  ciod  a  thug  thusa,  a  Choinnich,  co  fad  o  d' 
dhachaidh  fein  ?  Is  neonach  gu'n  do  leig  Seonaid  air  falbh  thu  leat 
fein." 

C. — "  Ma  ta,  a  Mhurachaidh,  cho-eignich  na  h-uiread  de  nith- 
ibh  mise  chum  an  Goirtean-Fraoich  fhagail  aig  an  am  so.  Bha 
mi  deonach  air  Baile-cinn  na  Gaidhealtachd  fhaicinn,  agus  mar  an 


10  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

ceudna  Chomunn  Gailig  Iubhirnis,gu  sonraichte  an  t-Ard-Albannach, 
an  Geilteachj  agus  an  t-Uasal  Ian  Macaoidh,  Fear-suidh'  na  cui- 
deachd.  Ach  cha  robh  dull  idir  agam  ri  tighinn  gus  an  d'rainig 
Sir  Seumas  mi  an  la  roimh,  agus  gus  an  dubhairt  e,  '  A  Choinnich, 
tha  Feill  na  Cloimhe  ann  an  Inbhirnis  air  a'  leithid  so  de  latha 
agus  feumaidh  tu  dol  agus  an  tri  cheud  molt  sin  a  reiceadh  air  mo 
shonsa  air  an  fheill.' " 

M. — "  An  do  reic  thu  iad,  ma  ta,  a  Choinnich,  a  cheana?" 

C. — "  Is  mise  a  rinn  sin  agus  a  rinn  gu  maith  e  ;  oir  fhuair  mi 
cuig  ceud  punnd  Sasunnach  air  son  an  tri  cheud  molt!  Ach, 
ochan !  a'  Mhurachaidh,  cha'n  f hacas  a  leithid  a  dh-fheill  riamh ! 
Na  c^udan  a'  siubhal  sios  agus  suas — agus  thall  'sa  bhos — a'  suidh' — - 
a'  seasamh — a'  cas-labhairt — a'  ciuin-chomhradh  a  nis — a'  gleadh- 
raich  a  ris — agus  a'  gluasad  gun  sgur  air  sraid  na  h-Eaglais,  ach  a' 
gabhail  fasgaidh,  agus  feudaidh  e  bhith  rud  beag  air  chor-eigin  eila 
anns  an  ard-thigh-osda  far  am  faighear  gach  goireas  a  tha  freagar- 
rach  air  son  fuachd  agus  teas — air  son  ocrais  agus  tart — agus  air  son 
gach  ni  eile  a  tha  feumail  do  mhac  an  duine.  So  agad,  ma  ta,  an 
seol  air  am  bheil  muinntir  Feill-na-Cloimh'  a'  reiceadh  agus  a'  cean- 
nachadh  mholt  agus  chaorach,  uan  agus  olainn,  agus  ghoireasan  gun 
aireamh  eile — agus  sin  uile  a'  dol  air  aghaidh  gun  a  bhi  'faicinn 
aoin  de  na  beathaichibh,  no  aoin  smad  de  na  stuthannaibh  eugsamhla 
sin  a  bha  iad  a'  ceannachadh  agus  a'  reiceadh  !  Ubh  !  Ubh  !  b'i  'n 
fheill  neonach  i  gun  teagamh !  Cha'n  'eil  duil  agam  gu'm  facas  a 
leithid  ann  an  cearnaidh  sam  bith  eile." 

M. — "  Ach  cia  mar  a  reic  thu  na  muilt,  a  Choinnich,  air  bhi 
dhuit  co  aineolach  air  cleachdannaibh  iongantach  mhuinntir  na 
Feille!" 

C. — "  Ma  ta,  innsidh  mi  sin  dhuit,  a'  Mhurachaidh  ;  thachair 
mi  air  meadhon  na  sraide  air  duin'-uasal  coir  a's  aithne  dhuit  fein, 
Fear  Bhealach-nan-cabar,  agus  bha  mi  am  breislich  ciod  a  dhean- 
ainn,  no  co  ris  a  labhrainn  mu  na  muilt  aig  mo  mhaighstir,  Sir 
Seumas,  an  uair  a  labhair  an  duin'  uasal  so  riurn,  agus  a'  cur  a  laimh 
air  mo  ghuallainn,  thubhairt  e,  '  Nach  tusa  Coinneach  Ciobair,  Sir 
Seumas,  agus  nach  d'thainig  thu  a'  reiceadh  nam  molt  aig  do 
Mhaighstir  air  an  fheill  so  ?  An  deachaidh  agad,  ma  ta,  air  sin  a 
dheanamh  1 '  '  Ochan  !  le'r  cead,  le'r  cead,  a'  dhuin  uasail  ionmh- 
uinn,  cha  reic  mise  gu  brath  iad  'san  aite  thubaisdeach  so,  oir  cha'n 
aithne  tlhomh  anam  air  an  fheill,  agus  cha'n  'eil  fios  agam  co  ris  a 
dh'  fhosgailinn  nio  bheul.'  Ghrad-thionndaidh  Fear-'Bhealaich  air 
a  shail,  sineicl  e  air  duin'-uasal  a  thainig  a  nail  'na  choinneamh,  agua 
dh'  innis  e  dha  aireamh,  gne,  nadar,  aois,  agus  feobhas  nam  molt, 
agus  cheannaich  e  air  ball  iad." 


Annual  Assembly.  11 

M. — "  Tha  do  shaorsa  agad  a  nis,  a  Choinnich,  chum  gach  ni 
fhaicinn,  agus  chum  curam  a  ghabhail  de  gach  cuis  a  ghabhas  Co- 
munn  Gailig  Inbhirnis  os  laimh  an  nochd,  agus  thoir  an  aire,  oir 
cha  bheag  agus  cha  suarach  na  nithe  a  chi  agus  a  chluinneas  thu 
air  an  f  heasgar  so,  agus  tha  deagh-f  hios  agam  gu'n  tog  iad  do  chridhe, 
agus  gu'n  dean  iad  deich  bliadhna  ni's  oige  thu,  a  charaid." 

C. — "  Gu  dearbh,  a  Mhurachaidh,  cha  robh  mi  riamh  ni'a 
toilichte  na  tha  mi  an  so  an  nochd !  Is  solas  do-labhairt  do  m' 
chridhe  a'  chuideachd  aluinn  so  fhaicinn,  agus  an  t-urram  mor  'fhao- 
tainn  a  bhi  re  na  h-uine  so  maille  riu.  Ach  ciod  iad  na  nithe  son- 
raichte  a  tha  iad  a'  gabhail  os  laimh  ! " 

M. — "  Chuir  thu  ceist  orm,  a  Choinnich,  dean  foighidinn  agua 
chi  thu,  oir  gheibh  foighidinn  furtachd.  Chuir  thu  ceist  orm  a 
ghabhadh  uine  fhada  chum  a  freagairt.  Ach  chum  gu'n  tuig  thu  e 
— Tha'n  Chomunn  eireachdail  so  a'  gabhail  os  laimh  gach  cuis  agus 
cleachd,  gach  riaghailt  agus  reachd,  a  bhuineadh  riamh  do  na  Gaidh- 
eil. Tha  iad  a'  rannsachadh  a  mach  gach  saothair,  obair,  ceol, 
bardachd,  ceileir,  piobaireachd,  aithris,  sean-f  hocal,  ur-sgeul,  glic- 
bhriathar,  eideadh,  armachd,  breacan,  suaicheantas,  gairm-cath,  in- 
neal-cogaidh,  teuchd,  treubhantas,  dillseachd,  tairisneachd,  teug- 
mhail,  agus  mar  sin  sios,  air  son  an  robh  na  Gaidheil,  o  na  ceud  linn- 
tibh,  comharraichte.  Tha'n  Chomunn  a'  fiosrachadh  gach  ni  mu  na 
Cinn-fheadhna,  na  Fineachan,  agus  na  tuasaidean  fuilteach  a  bha 
eatorra — mu  na  Cinn-chinnidh,  an  aireamh,  an  cumhachd  an  oigh- 
reachdan,  an  sloigh,  agus  an  dianiarrtais  air  buaidh  a  thoirt  air  aon 
a'  cheile  le  f  aobhar  geur  a'  chlaidheimh.  Tha'n  Chomunn  so,  mar  an 
ceudna,  a'  miannachadh,  leis  gach  innleachd  na'n  comus,  air  an 
f hirinn  fhaotuinn  a  mach,  mu  gach  cuis  a  bhuineas  do  na  Gaidheil 
mar  chinneach — gach  eolas  na'n  comus  a  rannsachadh  a  mach  mu 
choirichean  aosda,  mu  sheann  leabhraichean,  mu  sgriobhannan  a 
rinneadh  o  chein,  agus  mu  gach  ni  eile  leis  an  do  chomharraicheadh 
na  Gaidheil  a  mach  mar  chinneach,  a  bha  eadar-dhealaichte  o  chin- 
nich  eile,  le'n  cleachdannaibh  agus  le'n  canain.  Chum  na  criche  so, 
f eumaidh  an  Chomunn  a  bhi  foighidinneach,  eudmhor,  durachdach,  a' 
sgrudadh  gach  ait'  agus  ionaid — a'  siubhal  a  null  agus  a  nail — a  thall 
agus  a  bhos — agus  gun  sgath,  gun  sgios,  a  bhi'  geursgrudadh  gach 
feart,  heart,  agus  firinn  gu'm  bunait,  agus  leo  so,  a  bhi  'carnadh  suaa 
an  eolais  a  gheibh  iad,  chum  gu'm  hi  e  air  a  theasairginn  o  thir  na 
dichuimhne.  Cha  bheag  an'  obair  so,  a  ghraidh  narn  fear,  agua 
cha  bheag  an  dichioll  agus  an  gliocas — an  innleachd  agus  an  t-seol- 
tachd,  a  dh'  fheumar  a  chleachdadh  chum  an  obair  a  thoirt  gu  crich." 

C. — "  Ubh  !  Ubh  !  a  Mhurachaidh,  tha  thu  a'  cur  iongantaia 
orm." 


12  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

M. — "  Mise  a'  cur  iongantais  ort,  a  charaid  !  Cuir  thusa  an 
t-srathair  air  an  each  cheart,  agus  abair  gur  e  Cbomunn  Gailig  Inbhir- 
nis  a  tha  cur  iongantais  ort,  agus  nach  mise.  Cba  d'  ainmich  mise 
darna  leth  nan  cuspair  a  th'  aig  a'  Chomunn  so  'san  amharc.  Tha 
eachdraidh  agus  tilidheachd  na  Feinne,  seann  sgeulacbdan,  taibh- 
searacbd,  druidheachd,  geasachd,  leannana-sithe,  agus  na  miltean 
nithe  leithidean  sin  gu  bhi  air  am  min-fhiosrachadh  mar  a  chleach- 
dadh  iad  's  na  h-amannaibh  a  dh'  f  halbh.  Tha  gun  teagamh,  a  Choin- 
nich,  agus  mar  an  ceudna,  cleachdanna  nan  teaghlaichean  na'm  far- 
daichibh  fein  o  shean.  Leigeadh  so  a  ris  air  mhodh  taitneach  leis 
an  duine  mhacanta,  uasal,  agus  f  hoghluimte  sin  Mac  'Ille  Mhicheil, 
ann  an  Creag-Ghoraidh,  'na  oraid  ghrinn  do  na  h-Uidhistich  : — 
'  Air  oidhch'  fhada  gheamhraidh, 

Theid  a  tionndadh  gu  gniomh ; 
A'  toirt  eolais  do'n  chloinn, 

Bithidh  gach  seann  duine  liath ; 
An  nighean  a'  cardadh, 

A'  mhathair  a'  sniamh, 
An  t-iasgair  le'  shnathaid, 

A'  caradh  nan  lion.'  " 

C. — "  Eo  mhaith,  ro  mhaith,  a  Mhurachaidh,  mo  mhile  bean- 
nachd  air  Mac  'Ille  Mhicheil,  is  maith  a  mhinich  e  gnathas  an  teagh- 
laich  sin.  Tha  duil  agam  gu'm  bheil  mi  faicinn  an  duine  aosda, 
choir,  a'  teagasg  na  cloinne  ann  an  oisinn  de'n  t-seomar — agus  anna 
a'  chuil  ud  thall,  tha'n  nighean,  le  'fallus  ga  dalladh,  a'  sgriobadh 
nan  card,  's  a'  deanamh  nan  rolag.  Chithear  an  t-seana-bhean  air 
an  taobh  eile,  a'  srannail  air  a'  chuibhil-sniamhaidh,  a'  deanamh  an 
t-snath,  agus  balach  an  eisg  ah*  an  culaobh,  le  cuaill  lion-sgadain,  a' 
caradh  nan  toll." 

M. — "  Tha  sin  uile  gle  bhoidheach  agus  gle  nadurra  air  a  thoirt 
fa  chomhair  suil  na  h-inntinn,  a  Choinnich,  ach  cha  b'  urrainn  duil 
a  bhi  ri  chaochladh  o  laimh  chumhachdaich  Chreag-Ghoraidh,  a 
chuireas  an  comhnuidh  rogha  caoin  air  gach  sgeul  agus  comhradh. 
Ach  mu'n  Chomunn  so,  a  Choinnich,  cha'n  'eil  ni  'sam  bith  aca 
anns  an  amharc,  a  tha  a  reir  mo  bharail-sa,  co  cudthromach  air  gach 
seol,  ri  eolas  a  chumail,  agus  a  mheudachadh  air  cainnt  urramaich 
agus  mhaisich  nan  Gaidheal.     Is  i  a'  Ghailig  a'  chanain  a's  sine, 
a's  boidhiche,  agus  a's  druidiche  a  tha  ga  labhairt,  feudaidh  e  bhith, 
air  uachdair  an  t-saoghail !   Tha  i  'na  priomh-f  hreumh  do  gach  canain 
eile,  agus  tha  i  gu  h-iomlan  oirdheirc.     Mar  a  thubhairt  am  bard  : — 
'  Ma  tha  canain  air  thalamh, 
Bhios  'ga  labhairt  am  flaitheas, 
Tha  moran  'sa  bharail 
Gur  i  a'  Ghailig  an  te  sin.' " 


Annual  Assembly.  13 

C'. — "  Ochan  a'  righ  !  is  mi  tha  sona  an  nochd  !  Mo  chreach ! 
nach  robh  Seonaid  an  so,  is  i  a  bhiodh  aighearach  !  Ach,  a'  Mhura- 
chaidh,  ma's  beo  Seonaid  agus  mise  gu  bliadhn'  eile,  thig  sinn  dh'ionn- 
suidb  na  h-ath  choinneamh  ged  a  chosdadh  e  an  gearran  donn 
domh  !  Gu  robh  buaidh  leis  a'  Chomunn  ionmhuinn  air  tad,  agus 
gu  robh  gach  buaidh  leis  a'  Cheannfeadhna  urramach,  a  tha  'lionadh 
na  caithreach  ud  co  freagarrach  an  nochd.  Eachadh  an  Chomunn 
air  an  aghaidh  mar  a  rinn  iad  o'n  thoisich  iad — agus  le  beannachd, 
fasaidh  iad  laidir,  bliadhn'  an  cleigh  bliadhna.  Fasaidh  gun  tea- 
ganih  ;  agus  faic  so,  a'  Mhurachaidh  choir,  cha'n  f  hag  sinn  am  baile, 
gus  am  bi  thu  fein  agus  mi  fein  air  ar  deanamh  'nar  buill  de  Cho- 
munn Gailig  Inbhirnis.  Ochan  !  cha'n  fhag,  agus  am  measg  ion- 
gantais  an  t-saoghail,  co  aig  am  bheil  brath,  nach  fheud  mi  a  bhi 
beo,  gus  am  faic  mi  mo  charaid  Murachadh  Ban  'na  shuidhe  gu 
h-ard  'sa  chaithir  ud  na  cheann-feadhna  air  Chomunn  Gailig 
InbhirnisT' 

M. — "  Sguir  dhe  d'  ghoileam  agus  dhe  d'  bhaothaireachd,  Fhir 
a'  Ghoirtein  Fraoich,  air  neo  cha  bhi  sinn  reidh  ;  ach  a  thaobh  na 
thubhairt  thu  mu  thimchioll  sinne  a  bhi  'nar  buill  dhe'n  Chomunn 
so,  bithidh  mi  anabarach  toilichte  air  sin,  oir  is  taitneach  an  ni  do 
dhuine  a  bhi  ann  an  deagh  chuideachd,  oir  le  sin  tha  araon  an  inn- 
tinn  agus  a'  choluinn — eadhon  an  duine  gu  h-iomlan,  a'  faotuinn  ath- 
urachaidh  agus  neirt.  Feumaidh  an  inntinn  faochadh  agus  f  ois  co 
maith  ris  a'  chorp,  agus  riaraichear  iad  maraon  anns  a'  chuideachd 
so." 

C.  —  "  Cha'n  'eil  duil  agam  gu'm  bheil  Chomunn  Gaidhealach  eile 
'san  rioghachd  air  fad  co  tuigseach,  caidreach,  agus  cairdeil  ris  a' 
Chomunn  so — ach  ciod  ido  bharail-sa  mu  so,  a'  Mhurachaidh  T' 

M. — "  Tha  na  Communna  Gaidhealach  lionmhor  anns  an  Eilean 
Bhreatunnach,  a'  Choinnich,  ach  a  reir  mo  bheachd-sa,  bheir  an 
Chomunn  so  barr  orra  uile.  Einn  Chomunn  Gailig  Inbhirnis  rud  no 
dha  a  chosnas  cliu  dhoibh  re  linntean  ri  teachd." 

C — "  Ochan,  a'  Mhurachaidh,  gu  robh  mile  beannachd  air  a' 
Chomunn  so,  agus  gu  robh  gach  ni  ag  eirigh  leo  gu  brath." 

M . — "  Is  gleusda  a,  labhair  thu,  a  Choinnich,  ach  ceadaich  dhomh 
foighneachd  dhiot  — An  do  chuir  thu  fathast  eolas  air  neach  sonraichte 
sam  bith  dhe'n  Chomunn,  no  an  robh  thu  a  comhradh  ri  aon  idir 
aca  1" 

C. — "  Feudaidh  mi  a  radh  nach  robh,  a  Mhurachaidh,  ach  is  e 
mo  shaidealtachd  fein  bu  choireach.  Chunnaic  mi  triuir  dhiubh 
cuideachd  air  an  t-sraid,  agus  ma  chunnaic,  b'  iad  na  suinn  aluinn 
iad !  Thilg  mi  mo  shuilean  air  fior-charaid  nan  Gaidheal,  an  t-Ard- 
Albannach  ionmhuinn,  agus  Ochan !  b'e  'n  gille  e  !  Bha  e  co  sgiob- 


14  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

alta,  baganta,  cuimear,  le'  bhreacan-an-fheile,  's  le  'bhonait  ghuirm, 
leathainn  mar  ghroideil.  Chunnaic  mi,  mar  an  ceudna,  an  Ceilteach 
— agus  da-rireadh,  cha  b'e  'm  monar  e — duine  suairce — soiraeach — 
somalta — ceatharnach  treun — dileas,  cairdeil  'na  ghiulan — agus 
duine,  a  reira'  choslais,  aig  am  bheil  f eartan  inntinn,  agus  buaidhean 
coluinn,  foghainteach  annta  fein,  chum  na  ruintean  sin,  as  miann  leis 
eiridinn,  a  thoirt  gu  crich.  Mo  thruaigh  an  ti  air  an  deanadh  e  greim, 
agus  fearg  air — oir  gu  dearbh  cha  b  f  hurast  a'  dhruim  a  chur  ri 
lar  !  Ach  co  a  chunnaic  mi,  mar  an  ceudna,  ach  ar  caraid  an  Seann 
Sgiathanach  bochd,  agus  ma  chunnaic,  b'e  sin  an  creutair  iosal, 
cutach — duinneachan  ro  bheag,  a  tha  co  leathann  'sa  tha  e  co  fad. 
Tha  e  tuigh,  cruinn,  gramail,  mai1  bharailte-sgadain,  agus  gun  a  bhi 
a'  bheag  n'is  airde  ! — Tha  a  cheann  leth-mhaol — le  neoni  fuilt  thana, 
Jiath-ruadh,  a'  casadh  suas.  Cha  mhor  nach  duiriginn  dorn  dha  air 
son  cho  minic  'sa  chuir  e  thusa  agus  mise  ann  an  sgornanaibh  a  cheile 
— agus  an  deigh  sin,  bha  gne  speis  agara  dha  dh'aindeoin  cuise.  Tha 
duil  aige,  feudaidh  e  bhith,  gum  bheil  mabalaich  Gailig  aige,  ach 
cuimhnicheadh  e,  gur  e  an  duil  a  mhill  a'  bhantighearna — agus  ma 
their  e  a'  bheag  'ga  ardachadh  fein,  thugadh  e  fainear  gur  lionmhor 
greim  a  thug  e  do'n  bheul  a  tha  'ga  mholadh." 

M. — "  0  !  a  Choinnich,  is  iongantach  an  duine  thu,  agus  mo 
lamhsa  !  gu'rn  bheil  deagh  fhios  aig  Seonaid  choir  nach  fhurast  air 
uairibh  do  chumail  air  do  sheol ;  ach  ge  b'oil  le  d'  fhiaclan  e,  cuniaidh 
mise  air  do  chriochaibh  fein  thu.  Ach,  am  bheil  thu  riaraichte  leis 
a'  Chomunn  a  nis,  agus  am  bheil  thu  deonach  air  dol  mu  thamh  car 
oidhcher 

C. — "  Cha'n  'eil,  a'  Mhurachaidh,  oir  dh'fhanainn  seachduin  air 
a  ceann  maille  ris  a'  Chomunn  cheanalta  so,  agus  cha  'n  f  hag  mi 
an  talladh  an  nochd,  gus  am  faic  mi  am  ball  mu  dheireadh  dhe'n 
chuideachd  a  niach  air  an  dorus-mhor.  Tha  moran  eile,  a  bhuineas 
do'n  Chomunn  so,  bu  ro  mhaith  learn  f  haicinn,  mar  a  tha  an  t-Olamh 
Blackie — le  'cheann  liath — le  'chosaibh  caol,  — 's  le  chnaimh-droma 
cho  subailt  ris  on  easguinn  !  Bhiodh  e  taitneach,  mar  an  ceudna, 
sealladh  fhaotuinn  dhe  Tighearna  Chluainidh — Tearlach  Friseal- 
Mac-an-Toisich — Sir  Coinneach  Ghearrloch — agus  dhe  gach  Ceann- 
feadhnadh  a  bha  thairis  air  a'  Chomunn  so,  o'n  dhealbhadh  iad  an 
toiseach.  Tha  mi  'faicinn  seann  Chailein  Siosal  a  lathair,  agus  c'ait 
am  bheil  diulnach  a  bheir  barr  air  fhathast,  air  son  durachd,  eud, 
agus  tairisneachd,  a  thaobh  gach  ni  a  bhuineas  do  na  Gaidheil !  Gu 
ma  fada  beo  an  treunlaoch  blathchridheach,  cinneadail !  Ann  an 
aon  fhocal,  is  maith  agus  is  taitneach  a'  chuideachd  gu  leir  a  tha 
lathair  an  so  an  nochd — agus  f  had  s'  is  beo  Murachadh  Ban  agus 
Coinneach  Ciobair,  cha  di-chuimhnich  iad  gu  brath  an  fhior-thoil- 


Annual  Assembly.  15 

inntinn  a  thugadh  dhoibh  leis  a'  Chuideachd  so — agus  cha  diobair 
iad,  uile  laiihean  am  beatha,  gun  a  bhi  'cur  cliu  Chomunn  Gailig  In- 
bhirnis  ann  am  farsuingeachd  air  feadh  na  tire,  fhad's  'sa  bhios 
comus  aca  an  teangannan  a  ghluasad.  Ochan  !  slan  leibh,  Fhir-suidh 
urramaich,  a1  Bhantighearnan,  agus  a'  Chuideachd  aluiunn  gu  leir, 
agus  gu  robh  gach  buaidh  agus  beannachd  maille  ruibh  a  nis,  agus 
gu  brath. 

'  Mile  beannaclid,  mile  buaidh 

Air  Comunn  Uaislean  mo  ruin  ; 

Cha  snisnich  Breatunn  le  fiamh 

'S  sibhse  mar  dhion  air  a  cul. 

Thog  Albainn  a  ceann  le  h-uaill ; 

Dh'  f  huasgladh  a'  (Jhailig  a  snuim ; 

Tha  coir  aig  gach  saorsainn  gu  feum, 

Aig  Sliochd  Ghaidheal  nam  beus  grinn  ! ' " 

At  the  conclusion  of  his  address,  Mr.  Macgregor  suggested  that 
Captain  Chisholm  should  favour  the  meeting  with  a  tune  on  the 
bagpipes,  a  proposal  which  completely  electrified  the  audience,  Cap- 
tain Chisholm's  accomplishments  as  a  bagpipe-player  being  evidently 
well  known  to  the  most  of  those  present.  The  Captain  complied, 
and  played  a  reel,  to  which  four  gentlemen  in  Highland  costume 
danced.  The  performance  was  greatly  appreciated,  and  was  received 
with  loud  applause.  Those  who  took  part  in  the  dance  gave  other 
reels — the  Highland  Fling,  the  Reel  o'  Tulloch,  &c. — in  course  of 
the  evening,  and  were,  on  every  appearance,  heartily  encored.  The 
dancers  were  Pipe-Major  Ferguson,  Inverness  Rifle  Volunteers  ; 
Mr.  James  Reid,  High  Street  ;  Mr.  Robert  Ma^hardy,  Church 
Street ;  and  Mr.  Hugh  Mackenzie,  Castle  Street. 

The  programme  of  music  was  an  attractive  one.  A  party  of  a 
dozen  young  ladies,  under  the  leadership  of  Mr.  John  Whyte,  sang 
Gaelic  songs  and  choruses  in  a  most  pleasing  manner,  and  were  on 
each  appearance  received  with  cordial  applause.  There  were  Gaelic 
solos  by  Mr.  Donald  Graham,  Glasgow,  whose  style  is  clear  and 
effective  ;  and  English  and  Gaelic  songs  by  Mr.  J  A.  Robertson, 
who  sang  "  Scots  wha  hae,"  "  The  Macgregor's  Gathering,"  and  a 
new  Gaelic  song  "  Theid  i  's  gu'n  teid  i  learn,"  with  much  expression 
and  taste.  Mr.  Robertson  and  Miss  Young  sang  a  Gaelic  duet, 
"  Ho  r<5,  mo  Nighean  Donn  Bhoidheach,"  in  a  manner  that  secured 
for  them  a  hearty  encore.  A  most  delightful  feature  in  the  musi- 
cal programme  was  the  appearance  of  Miss  Libbie  Watt,  who  sang 
in  a  charming  manner  "  Cam'  ye  by  Athole,"  and  "  Whistle  and 
I'll  come  to  you,  my  lad,"  and  was  on  both  occasions  encored. 


16  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Mr.  Mackay,  of  Ben-Reay,  followed  the  Chairman's  example, 
at  the  request  of  the  Chair,  and  afforded  the  audience  a  treat, 
which  they  greatly  appreciated,  by  singing  "  The  Piper  o'  Dun- 
dee." The  piano  and  harmonium  accompaniments  to  all  the 
singers  were  given  by  Miss  Georgina  Mackintosh,  Douglas  Row, 
in  a  manner  which  elicited  general  praise.  During  the  assem- 
bling of  the  meeting,  and  at  intervals  throughout  the  evening, 
several  selections  on  the  bagpipes  were  played  by  Pipe-Majors  Mac- 
lennan  and  Ferguson,  Sergeant  Urquhart,  and  Piper  Peter  Maclean. 
The  party  of  singers  consisted  of — Miss  Young,  Huntly  Street ; 
Miss  Alexandrina  Macdonald,  Armadale  Cottage,  Greig  Street  ; 
Miss  Jessie  Macdonald,  Gilbert  Street ;  Miss  Maggie  Mackintosh, 
Douglas  Kow  ;  Miss  Maclaren,  Drummond ;  Miss  Noble,  Lombard 
Street ;  and  Miss  Mary  Macrae,  Hill  Street. 

At  the  close,  Mr.  D.  Sharp,  President  of  the  Glasgow  Highland 
Association,  expressed  pleasure  that  his  first  visit  to  Inverness 
should  be  associated  with  this  grand  Highland  gathering.  He  now 
had  six  years  experience  of  Highland  gatherings,  having  presided 
at  many  since  the  origin  of  the  Glasgow  Highland  Association,  and 
he  could  assure  them  that  he  had  never  seen  one  that  pleased  him 
more  than  the  one  which  he  had  witnessed  that  evening.  He  asked 
a  hearty  vote  of  thanks  to  all  who  had  contributed  to  the  evening's 
entertainment — the  singers,  the  dancers,  the  speakers,  the  pipers,  and 
the  young  lady  who  presided  at  the  piano.  (Applause.) 

Provost  Simpson  moved  a  cordial  vote  of  thanks  to  Captain 
Chisholin  for  his  conduct  in  the  chair.  Captain  Chisholm,  like  a 
true  Highlander,  came  ever  to  the  front,  and  so  to-night  in  the 
much-regretted  and  unavoidable  absence  of  then1  esteemed  Chief,  he 
had  come  to  take  his  old  place  in  the  assemblies  of  the  Gaelic 
Society.  He  had  come  to  the  chair  unwillingly  certainly,  but  with 
the  very  greatest  satisfaction  to  all  who  had  the  pleasure  to  sit 
under  him.  He  would  not  say  more  in  Captain  Chisholm's  pre- 
sence, but  he  would  ask  for  him  a  very  hearty  and  true  Highland 
cheer.  (Loud  cheers.) 

The  Chairman  briefly  acknowledged  the  compliment,  and,  on 
the  suggestion  of  the  Provost,  and  amid  great  applause,  he  played 
on  the  pipes  "  Johnnie  Cope"  as  a  parting  tune. 

The  arrangements  for  the  meeting  were  under  the  charge  of  the 
Secretary.  "  Not  a  solitary  hitch,"  says  The  Highlander,  "occurred 
during  the  evening  to  mar  the  proceedings,"  and  altogether  every- 
thing went  off  in  a  most  enjoyable  manner. 

Subjoined  is  a  copy  of  the  programme  : — 


Annual  Assembly.  17 

PART  I. 

Gaelic  Song—"  Ho  'n  Clo  Dubh"— Party. 

Address — The  Chief. 

Scotch  Song — "  Macgregor's  Gathering"- — Mr.  J.  A.  Robertson. 
Dance — "  Highland  Fling" — Oganaich  Ghaidhealach. 
Gaelic  Song — "  Och6in  a  Eigh    gur  a   mi   tha   muladach" — Mr. 

Donald  Graham,  Glasgow. 

Scotch  Song — "  Cam'  ye  by  Athole" — Miss  Libbie  Watt. 
New   Gaelic   Song — "  An   Gaidheal   'sa  Leannan" — Mr.    J.    A. 

Eobertson. 
Gaelic  Song — "  Oran  do  Chaiptean  Siosal " — le  Mairi  Nic-Ealair — 

Party. 

Interval  of  Ten  Minutes — Bagpipe  Music. 

PART    II. 

Gaelic  Song — "  H6-ro  Eileanaich  ho  gii" — Party. 

Gaelic  Address — Eev.  Alex.  Macgregor,  Inverness. 
Scotch  Song — "Whistle  and  I'll   come  to  you,  my  Lad" — Miss 

Libbie  Watt. 
Gaelic  Solo  and  Duet — "  Ho  r6  mo  Nighean  Donn  Bhoidheach" — 

Miss  Young  and  Mr.  Robertson. 
Dance — "  Eeel  of  Tulloch" —  Oganaich  Ghaidhealach. 
Gaelic  Song — "  Mairi  Bhan  Dhail-an-Eas" — Mr.  Donald  Graham. 
Scotch  Song — "  Scots  wha  hae" — Mr.  J.  A.  Eobertson. 
Concluding  Song — "  0  theid  sinn,  theid  sinn  le  sugart  agus  aoidh" 

—Party. 

GTH  NOVEMBER,  1878. 

At  the  meeting  on  this  date,  it  was  resolved  to  join  the  Feder- 
ation of  Highland  Societies.  Mr.  Alex.  Mackenzie  and  Mr.  William 
Mackay  (whom  failing  Mr.  John  Murdoch)  were  appointed  to  re- 
present the  Society  at  the  Federation  Meeting  in  Glasgow,  on  20th 
November,  1878. 

13iH  NOVEMBER,  1878. 

At  this  meeting,  some  discussion  took  place  on  the  Federation 
question,  with  the  view  of  communicating  to  the  delegates  the 
opinion  of  the  Society  thereanent. 

The  prevailing  opinion  was  that  the  objects  of  the  Federation 
should  be  literary  aiul  educational,  and  that  politics  should  be 

2 


18  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

always  avoided  ;  and  the  delegates  were  instructed  to  see  that  the 
objects  of  the  Federation  should  be  in  no  material  way  out  of  har- 
mony with  the  constitution  of  this  Society. 

Captain  1ST.  Scobie,  Fearn,  was  elected  a  life  member ;  whilst 
'  the  following  were  elected  ordinary  members  : — Miss  Cameron,  of 
Innseagan,  Fort- William  ;  Captain  Cash,  adjutant,  E.  E.  V.,  Ding- 
wall  ;  James  Cluues,  Nairn  ;  Duncan  Sharp,  Keppoch  Hill,  Glas- 
gow ;  R  A.  Macdonald,  Ullinish,  Skye ;  A.  D.  Campbell,  Kirkin- 
tilloch  ;  Paul  Campbell,  shoemaker,  Bridge  Street,  Inverness  :  Geo. 
Fraser,  clerk,  Caledonian  Bank  do.  ;  Murdo  Maclennan,  carpenter, 
Shore  Street  do.  ;  Robert  Fergusson,  teacher,  Raploch,  Stirling  ; 
Alex.  Mackenzie,  architect,  Glasgow  ;  Charles  A.  Walker,  Ord,  Eoss- 
shire ;  Sergeant  D.  Macpherson,  Chapel  Street,  Inverness ;  D. 
Crawford,  Otterferry,  Tighnabruaich  ;  Angus  Mackenzie,  Waverley 
Hotel,  Inverness ;  Alex.  Mackay,  labourer,  Eaigmore ;  Eoderick 
Macdiarmid,  teacher,  Portnahaven,  Islay ;  P.  A.  C.  Mackenzie, 
52  Marquis  Eoad,  Camden  Square,  London ;  and  Eoderick  Mac- 
lennau,  14  Douglas  Street,  Glasgow. 

20TH  NOVEMBER,  1878. 

Dr.  David  Tulloch,  Helmsdale,  and  D.  Cameron,  velocipede 
maker,  Dempster  Gardens,  Inverness,  were  elected  ordinary  mem- 
bers at  the  meeting  on  this  date. 

Some  routine  business  having  been  transacted,  the  Secretary, 
Mr.  William  Mackenzie,  read  a  paper  entitled — 

LEAVES  FEOM  MY  CELTIC  POETFOLIO. 
III.* 

He  said — At  the  request  of  several  members  of  the  Society,  I 
am  to  give  you  to-night  a  further  selection  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio. 
Two  series  of  these  papers  have  already  appeared  in  our  Transac- 
tions. With  these,  I  have  no  doubt,  all  members  interested  in 
such  matters  are  already  familiar,  and  it  is  therefore  unnecessary  for 
me  to  precede  the  present  selection  with  any  introduction  further 
than  to  say  that  it  is  exactly  of  the  same  character  as  the  former 
ones. 

In  the  first  series,  I  gave  a  fragment  of  a  Duanag  (page  57),  in 
connection  with  togail  nan  creach.  As  I  mentioned  there,  I  heard 

*  For  the  first  and  second  series  of  these  "  Leaves,"  vide  Volume  VII., 
pages  52  and  100. 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio.  19 

its  authorship  attributed  in  the  west  of  Boss-shire  to  Alasdair 
Sgolair,  and  in  Inverness-shire  to  Domlmull  Donn  Mac  Fhir  Bhotli- 
fhionntainn.  Since  the  publication  of  our  last  Volume,  my  valued 
poetical  correspondent,  Mr.  F.  D.  Macdonell,  late  of  Plockton, 
writes  me  from  New  Zealand,  saying  that  the  author  is  neither  of 
these  worthies, /but  "  Coinneach  Dubh  Mac  Dhon'-'ic-Coinnich." 
He  at  the  same  time  sends  me  what  appears  to  be  a  complete  copy 
of  the  song,  which  I  give  along  with  his  prefatory  note  : — 

The  authorship  of  the  following  duanag  is  attributed  by  some 
to  Domlmull  Donn,  a  contemporary  of  Iain  Lorn  ;  but  the  legitimate 
author  was  Coinneach  Dubh.  His  sister  was  grandmother  to  the 
famous  Ruaraidh  'n  lomaire,  a  gentleman  and  a  scholar,  eloquent 
and  ready-witted,  and  well-versed  in  the  history  and  genealogy  of 
the  Highland  Clans,  who  died  at  Achamore.  Lochalsh,  about  fifty 
years  ago.  The  song  was  composed  to  gall  a  certain  band  of 
Lochaber  Ccaf.fi  arnaich,  or  cattle-lifters,  who  on  more  than  one 
occasion  ravaged  the  folds  of  some  of  the  author's  friends.  It  may 
be  mentioned  here  that  cattle-lifting  in  those  days  was  by  no  means 
reckoned  dishonourable,  although  sheep-stealing  was  held  infamous, 
and  visited  with  the  utmost  severity. 

Chorus. — Faodaidh  'fear  bhios  fuar,  falanih, 
Cruaidh,  smearail,  foinnidh,  fearail, 
Fead  a  thoirt  an  cluais  balaich, 
Mur  a  bi  e  reidh  ris. 

Thoir  fios  gu  taobh  thall  nan  Garbh  chrioch, 
0  'n  's  ni  e  'chordas  ri  'm  mheanmuinn, 
Gu'n  thoisich  taobh  tuath  na  h-  Albainn 
Air  marbhadh  a  ch&le. 
Faodaidh  'fear,  &c. 

Fios  gu  Eoghann,  fios  gu  Ailean, 
'S  fios  gu  Domlmull  Ban  an  CailKch, 
Ciod  an  truaighe  'chum  aig  bail'  iad, 
'Sa'  ghealach  air  £iridh  ? 
Faodaidh  'fear,  &c. 

Clann-a'-Phi  agus  Clann-Uaraig, 
Ciod  e  'n  aon  ni  a  chum  uainn  iad  ? 
'S  mi  fhein  's  Cloinn  Liodar  nan  cuaran 
'An  guaillibh  a  che"ile. 
Faodaidh  'fear,  &c. 


20  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Tha  Maolanaich  arm  an  Arcaig, 
'S  bu  mhath  gu  slaodadh  nan  creach  iad, 
'S  fhad  's  a  mhaireas  ni  aig  Cataich, 
Cha  bhi  ac'  ach  leum  air. 
Faodaidh  'fear,  &c. 

'Sann  mu  dha  thaobh  Baile-Domha 
Tha  na  fir  nach  faoin  ri  clomhadh, 
'S  bheir  iad  aomadh  air  na  Rothaich, 
Fhad  's  a  gheibhear  spreidh  aca. 
Faodaidh  'fear,  &c. 

Xa  'n  gabhadh  na  cruachan  ioman 
Mar  ghabhadh  crodh  Cille-Chuimein, 
Bheireadh  sinn  air  bodaich  Mhoraidh, 
Gu'm  biodh  dolaidh  beidh  orra. 
Faodaidh  'fear,  &c. 

Gu  'n  mharbhadh  bean  uasal  thapaidh 
Ann  an  tuasaid  o  chionn  seachduin, 
'ri  faodaidh  sibhse  crodh  'us  capuill, 
Thoirt  dhachaidh  'n  a  h-e'irig. 
Faodaidh  'fear,  &c. 

Tha  crodh  a's  eich  air  an  leathad 
Aig  bodaich  nach  dean  an  gleidheadh, 
'S  mur  b  'e  dhomhsa  bhi  mo  laidhe, 
Dheanainn  rathad  reidh  dhoibh. 
Faodaidh  'fear,  &c. 

I  will  now  present  you  with  two  songs  of  a  very  different  type. 
They  are  the  composition  of  John  Campbell,  Ledaig,  Oban — the 
hero  of  Professor  Blackie's  pretty  verses,  entitled  "  The  House  of 
the  Bard."  The  first  pictures  to  us  the  Highlander  in  a  distant 
land,  while  in  the  second  we  have  a  graphic  account  of  the  thoughts 
that  stir  his  breast  as  he  returns  homewards. 

AN    GAIDHEAL   *AN    TIE   CHEIN. 

Is  trie  mi  cuiinhneach  air  tlr  mo  dhuthchais, 
Air  tlr  nam  beanntan  's  nan  gleanntan  iirar ; 
Air  tlr  nan  sgairnichean  arda,  ruisgtc, 
Nan  creagan  corrach,  's  nan  lochan  dughorm. 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio.  2.1 

Air  sruthain  chaisleach  nan  caran  lubach, 
Ei  mire  's  gleadhraich  feadh  bhac  is  stuchdan  ; 
No  'ruith  gu  samhach  'sa'  ghleannan  chiuin  ud 
'S  an  doire  challtuinn  gu  teann  'g  an  dunadh. 


An  eidheann  dhuallach  mar  sgail-bhrat  uaine, 
'S  a'  Gheamhradh  's  fuaire  fo  shnuadh  a'  fas, 

'S  i  'dion  le  'sgiathan  nan  ard-chreag  liath  ud, 
Mar  gu  'm  b'e  h-iarrtas  an  cumail  blath. 

An  tonn  ri  cr6nan  air  cladach  comhnard, 
Le  morbban  b6idheacb  'toirt  cool  gu  reidh  ; 

No  'g  eiridh  suas  dhuinn  le  toirm  an  uambais, 
'S  an  cath  na  chuartaig  'g  a  sguab'  do'n  speur. 

Sud  tlr  a'  chairdeis  's  an  d'  fbuair  mi  m'  arach, 
Far  'm  bheil  a'  Ghailig  is  aillidh  fonn, 

'S  i  thogadh  m'  inntinn  'n  uair  bhithinn  tursach, 
'Sa  dh'  fhagadh  sunndach  mo  chridhe  trom. 

Is  trie  a  thionndaidb  mi  air  mo  chulaobh, 
'N  uair  chluinnin  dluth  i  air  sraid  nan  Gall ; 

Mo  cbridhe  dh'^ireadh  mar  aiteal  greine, 

'Thoirt  siiil  a'  m'  dheigh  dh'fheucb  co  bbiodh  ann. 

Is  ged  a  shealladh  na  Gaill  a  sios  oirnn 

'N  uair  bhitheamaid  direacb  o  thlr  nam  beann  ; 

Fo  'n  chairt  is  suarraiche  's  trie  a  fhuaireas, 
Am  fiodh  is  luachmhoire  am  measg  nan  crann. 

'Si  sud  an  duthaich  a  thog  na  fiurain, 

Bha  gaisgeil,  cliuiteach,  bha  iulmbor,  treun, 

A  slieasadh  Ikidir  a  dhion  gacb.  cas  leinn, 

'S  gu  brath  nach  d'  fhailnich  an  la  an  fheum. 

Tha  'n  gaisgeadh  ainmeil  is  trie  a  dhearbht  e, 
Air  tlr  's  air  fairge,  an  cath  's  an  stri ; 

B'  iad  luchd  an  fh^ilidh  gu  brath  nach  geilleadh, 
Fhad  's  ruitheadh  deur  do  fhuil  r^idh  nan  crldh'. 


22  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

'Si  'n  fhlor  fhuil  uasal  o  thlr  nam  fuar  bheann 
A  bhiodh  's  a'  ghruagaich  d'  an  tugainn  speis  ; 

T<$  bhruidhneadh  blath  rium  's  a'  chanain  aluinn 
Bu  ro  mhath  thathadh  ar  gradh  r'a  ch<}ir. 

'S  a  chaoidh  cha  chaochail  an  tlus  tha  'm  thaobhsa 
Do  m'  thlr  's  do  m'  dhaoinibh  a  b'  aobhach  learn, 

'S  cha  leig  air  dlchuimhn'  gach  comhairl'  phrlseil, 
Thug  teachdair  dlleas  na  firinn  dhuinn. 

A's  ged  a  ruiginn-sa  cul  nan  Innsean, 

'S  gach  eilean  rlomhach  's  na  tlrean  thall : 

'S  ann  ann  a'  m'  dhuthaieh  a  ghuidhean  m'  uir  bhi 
J!N"  uair  bhiodh  mo  shuilean  'g  an  dunadh  teann. 

'S  nio  chead  's  an  uair  so  do  thlr  nam  buadh  ud, 
'S  mo  bheannachd  buan  leis  an  t-sluagh  tha  ann, 

'S  an  cliu  a  f  huair  sinn  o  linn  ar  sinnsir, 
Gu  ceann  ar  crlche  nach  dealaich  ruinn. 


AN  QAIDHEAL  AIR  TILLEADH  GU  'DHUTHAICH  0  TH1B  CHEIN. 

0  's  iomadh  bliadhna  'tha  nis  air  iadhadh — 
Mo  cheann  air  liathadh,  's  mo  chiabhag  ban — 

Bho'n  laidh  mo  shuil-s'  ort  a  thir  mo  dhuthchais, 
Is  sealladh  cuil  ghabh  bho  chul  mo  shail  I 

Na  creagan  arda  's  gach  cnocan  aluin, 
Tha  mar  a  dh'fhag  mi  iad  air  am  bonn, 

Ach  luchd  mo  ghraidh-sa  a  chuireadh  failt'  orm, 
Cha'n  'eil  an  aireamh  a  nis  ach  gann. 

'N  am  fardaich  fhialaidh,  bha  tlus  is  biadh  ann 
Do  'n  choigreach  chianail  le  thuras  sgith  ; 

'Se  feidh  a's  caoirich  tha  'n  diugh  r'a  fhaotuinn, 
Is  luchd  mo  ghaoil-sa  tha  fad  o  'n  tir. 

Is  0  gur  fasail  an  diugh  gach  larach, 

'S  an  robh  mo  chairdean-sa  uile  cruinn — 

A  chuid  chaidh  fhagail  le  maoir  's  le  baiiuin, 
Gu'n  d'thug  am  bas  iad  gu  aite  taimh. 


Leaves  from  my  Celiic  Portfolio.  23 

Is  iomadh  kite  's  an  robh  mo  thamh-sa, 
Is  iomadh  duthaich  's  an  robh.  mo  chuairt, 

Ach  mar  a  thearnadh  a'  ghrian  's  an  iarmailt, 
Mo  chridh'  bha  'g  iarraidh  gu  tir  mo  shluaigh. 

Ciod  am  feum  a  tha  nis  dha  m'  storas, 

0  ciod  an  solas  a  gheibh  mi  ann, 
'S  an  dream  le  'n  d'  shaoil  mi  a  chaitheadh  comhl'  riu, 

Ochdin  mo  Ie6nadh  tha  iad  air  chall ! 

0  cha'n  'eil  dachaidh  'n  taobh  bhos  do  'n  bhas  dhuinn — 
0  's  briste  an  cairdeas  tha  'n  taobhsa  'n  uaigh  I 

Far  an  saoil  sinn  bheil  sonas  lamh  ruinn, 
'Se  sin  an  t-aite  'san  fhaid'  e  bhuainn. 

Ach  Thusa  chuidich  'sa  chum  a  suas  mi, 

'Thug  as  gach  cruaidh-chas  mi  'n  robh  mi  'n  sas 

Lub  fein  mo  chridhe  gu  d'  ghradhsa  iarraidh, 
'S  tu  'n  caraid  sioraidh  inch  treig  gu  brath. 


I  will  follow  these  up  with  an  old  Gaelic  Love  Song.  The 
metre  employed,  it  will  be  seen,  is  not  one  that  is  used  by  modern 
versifiers.  I  do  not  know  who  composed  it ;  but,  perhaps,  some 
member  of  the  Society  may  throw  light  on  the  matter. 

'S  trom  learn  m'  imeachd  gach  lo, 
'S  nach  imich  mi  rod  d'am  beil  m'  aoidh, 
'S  nach  imich  mi  rod  d'  am  beil  m'  aoidh, 

Ni  'n  gluais  mo  chridhe  mo  choin, 
Cha  togair  learn  fonn  ach  caoidh. 

Fonn  cha  tog  dh'  iom  mo  sprochd, 
Fo  gach  aon  ni  ach  osna  's  deur, 
Fo  gach  aon  ni  ach  osua  's  deur, 

Ged  a  tharladh  mi  'n  diugh  fo  ghruaim, 
Ghabhainn  uair  le  fearas-theud. 

Ri  teud  cha'n  oisdear  ri  m'  linn, 
Cba  bhinn  learn  aigbear  ach  bron, 
Cha  bhinn  ]eam  aighear  ach  bron, 

Ni  'm  beil  mo  leigheas  an  dan, 
Mur  faighear  leam  trath  do  ph6g. 


24  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

Do  phog  mo  leigheas  a  ta, 
Na  'm  faighinn  dhiubh  dha  no  tri, 
!Na  'm  faighinn  dhiubh  dha  no  tri, 

Od'  dheala-bhriot  o  'm  beurtha  buaidh 
Cion  gu  la-luain  thug  mi. 

'S  mi  gu'm  beil  ort  an  deidh, 
'Nighean  nan  reidh  rosg  mall, 
'.Nighean  nan  reidh  rosg  mall, 

'S  gur  e  dh'  fhag  m'  aigneadh  an  eis 
Miad  mo  dheidh  air  do  chorp  seang. 

Do  chorp  seang,  mo  gradh  an  t-aoidh, 
An  te  nach  labhair  maoin  a  lochd, 
An  te  nach  labhair  maoin  a  lochd, 

'Bha  tuigseach,  foighideach,  h'al, 
Cha'n  aithnicht'  ardan  fiarais  ort. 

Ort  mar  dhreach  lilidh  do  ghruaidh, 
'S  maiseach  do  shmiadh,  's  geal  do  dheud, 
'S  maiseach  do  shnuadh,  's  geal  do  dheud, 

Do  shlios  mar  eala  nan  spog. 
Beul  mcachair  nach  toisich  breug. 

Breug  cha  ghluais  an  te  tha  ceart, 
'S  tu  mo  chraobh  fo  dhealt  's  a'  Mhaigh, 
'S  tu  mo  chraobh  fo  dhealt 's  a'  Mhaigh, 

Gur  tu  m'  aighear  's  mo  chruit-chiuil, 
'S  mo  gheug  abhail  ur  fo  bhla. 

Do  bhla  mar  chanach  an  fheoir, 
'S  tu  'n  eala  ri  ceol  a  ghnath, 
'S  tu  'n  eala  ri  ceol  a  ghnath, 

Do  shlios  mar  fhaoileig  nan  tonn, 
0  bhonn  gu  'mhullach  a  ta. 

Tha  thu  gun  chron  cumaidh, 
0  d'  mhullach  gu  barr  do  bhroig, 

Ailteachd  bhan  uile, 
0  d'  mhuineal  gu  barr  do  mheoir, 

Cul  fainneach  buidhe, 
'S  do  rughadh  air  dhreach  an  oir, 

Agus  deud  dhluth,  chailceach, 
Mar  ghrein  a  lasadh  's  na  neoil. 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio. 

Do  neul,  's  do  chumadh, 
Thug  urram  air  each  gu  lorn, 

Gruaidh  chiatach,  ruiteach, 
Gun  eucoir  druidte  ri  d'  chom, 

Beul  beusach,  tuigseach, 
Mar  theudan  druidte  ri  fonn, 

Mo  ghleus  air  tuiteam, 
'S  nach  fheud  mi  uchdach  ach  troih. 


The  next  verses  I  will  present  to  you  are  on  the  choice  of  a 
companion — "  Mo  roghainn  companaich."  I  neither  know  their 
author  nor  their  date  ;  but  their  merit  entitles  them  to  a  corner 
here : — 

Is  e  so  companach  an  aigh, 

An  companach  a  b'  aill  learn  fein  ; 
Am  fear  a  bheireadh  dhomh  gu  saor, 

'S  g'an  taomaiun  mach  mo  chridhe  fein.' 

Do'n  innsinnse  gun  sgath  gun  fhiamh, 
Gach  iomaguin  dhian  a  bhiodh  g'am  leir, 

A  bheireadh  comhairl'  orm  le  gradh, 
'S  ri  each  nach  labhradh  ni  mu  dhdigh. 

Is  mor  an  sonas  air  gach  taobh, 

R'a  fhaotuin  tha  'nar  comunn  graidh, 

Cha  tugain  e  air  g!6ir  an  t-sao'il, 
'S  r'a  thaobh  tha  6r  'na  ni  gun  sta  ! 

Ach  o  cum  bhuam  an  teanga  fhiar, 
Mar  lion  a  dhiadhas  air  gach  taobh ; 

S  a'n  la  mo  thinn  a  sgaoil  a  sgiath, 

'Sa  dh'  fhag  mi  sniomhta  ris  gach  gaoth. 

The  following  song  of  exile,  with  its  accompanying  narrative,  I 
compile  from  several  sources.  The  song,  according  to  tradition,  is 
the  composition  of  Fearchar  Mac  Iain  Gig  Mhic-Rath — Farquhai 
MacRae,  a  well  known  Kintail  man. 

The  circumstances  under  which  the  soug  was  composed  may  be 
briefly  told.  Donald  MacRae,  who  was  ground-officer  or  bailiff  to 
Mackenzie  of  Kintail,  about  the  year  1590,  was  very  severe  in  ex- 
acting the  taxes  imposed  by  his  master,  who,  it  is  said,  demanded 
a  tribute  of  butter  and  cheese  in  addition  to  the  rent.  He  like- 


26  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

wise  expected  that  the  tenants  would  give  him  a  share,  or  an  equiva- 
lent, of  the  salmon  taken  in  the  river  Cro  ;  but  that  additional  cus- 
tom was  strenuously  opposed,  so  that  Donald  was  ordered  to  lose 
no  time  in  enforcing  it.  In  executing  his  commission,  he  went  to 
Achaghark,  to  the  house  of  Farquhar  MacEae,  commonly  called 
"  Fearchar  Mac  Iain  Oig,"  who  happened  at  the  time  to  be  out 
hunting.  Donald  took  advantage  of  the  man's  absence,  and 
carried  away  a  cow,  and  a  copper  kettle  found  in  the  house.  On 
Farquhar's  return,  his  wife  told  him  of  what  had  occurred,  and 
added,  that  if  he  was  a  man,  the  bailiff  would  not  encroach  on 
his  property.  Being  after  partaking  of  some  whisky,  the  wife's  re- 
marks "  raised  his  blood  ;  "  and  out  he  went  with  his  loaded  gun, 
nor  did  he  halt  until  he  got  near  the  bailiff  as  he  was  fording  the 
river  Connag  with  the  kettle  on  his  back.  He  took  aim,  fired  the 
old  musg,  and  the  bailiff  dropped  dead  in  the  stream.  With  Far- 
quhar,  it  was  naturally  an  exciting  moment,  and  he  instantly  re- 
solved to  leave  his  house  and  home.  Before  leaving,  however,  he 
hurried  back  to  tell  his  wife — Nighean  Dhonnchaidh,  to  whom 
allusion  is  made  in  the  song — what  happened.  Addressing  her  he 
said — "  A  bhean  gun  tiir,  thug  thu  ormsa  mo  chall  a  dheanadh. 
Feumaidh  mise  teicheadh  'san  aithre  'thoir  orm  fhin.  Thoir  thusa 
'n  aithre  ort  fhein  mar  a's  fhearr  a  dh'  fhaodas  tu."  It  was  a  sad 
situation  for  the  wife,  but  matters  could  not  bo  helped.  Farquhar 
then  fled  and  did  not  halt  until  he  reached  "  Cctolas  nam  bo,"  at 
the  entrance  to  little  Loch  Hourn,  where  the  strait  intercepted  his 
advance  in  that  direction.  A  paternal  uncle  of  his  was  living  on 
the  other  side  of  the  loch,  at  a  place  called  Sgiathairidh,  and  from 
him  he  expected  to  get  protection.  He  shouted  for  some  person  to 
go  for  him,  and  his  uncle  hearing  him,  addressing  his  own  sons, 
said — "  Eiribh  Fhearaibh  !  Tha  Fearchar  mac  mo  bhrathair 
thallud  ag  iarraidh  an  aisidh  's  guth  fir  calla  'na  cheann."  Farquhar 
was  at  once  ferried,  and  in  answer  to  his  uncle's  enquiries  as  to  what 
was  wrong,  he  replied  that  he  had  killed  Domhnull  Mac  Dhonnch- 
aidh Mhic  Fhionnlaidh  Dhuibh  nam  Fiadh.  "  Pugh,"  said  his 
uncle,  "  do  not  mind  that,  for  unless  you  would  kill  him,  I  would 
kill  him  myself."  Farquhar  remained  with  his  uncle  for  a  few 
months,  and  then  returned  to  Kintail,  where  he  concealed  himself 
for  seven  years  in  a  cave  in  Coire  gorm  a'  bheallaich,  in  Glenlic. 
He  never  went  out  without  leaving  a  copper  coin  on  a  stone  at  the 
mouth  of  the  cave,  imagining  that  if  any  person  went  the  way,  the 
coin  would  be  either  carried  away,  or,  if  handled,  left  in  another 
position. 

It  appears  that  a  belief  prevailed  in  Scotland  that  a  man  guilty 


! 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio.  27 

of  homicide,  and  who  evaded  the  officers  of  the  law  for  seven  years, 
could  not  afterwards  be  punished.  I  cannot  trace  any  such  law 
anywhere  ;  but  old  Seanachaidhs  to  the  present  day  speak  of  such 
a  law  as  a  matter  of  fact.  But  without  enquiring  whether  such  a 
law  ever  existed,  we  know  that  in  many  cases  the  Crown  was  too 
weak  to  punish ;  and  that  the  payment  of  assythement  went  a  long 
way  to  compound  for  a  crime.  By  this  payment  the  relatives  of 
the  dead  person  would  be  to  some  extent  satisfied,  and  in  these  cir- 
cumstances a  weak  Crown  could  not  do  much  to  punish  the  guilty 
person.  But  it  is  curious  that  the  time  should  be  limited  to  seven 
years  in  the  popular  estimation  ;  and  the  presumption  is  that  the 
matter  had  its  origin  in  some  legal  observance.  We  know  that  there 
were  many  laws  and  customs  rigorously  observed  by  our  ancestors 
which  have  never  been  sanctioned  by  Parliament.  Was  not  every 
chief  a  judge  among  his  people,  and  may  not  such  an  unwritten 
"  law"  have  prevailed  in  that  way  1  Whatever  the  origin,  the 
popular  opinion  was  that  no  man  who  was  brave  and  clever  enough 
to  evade  the  law  for  the  time  stated,  should  be  punished,  as  such  a 
man  was  considered  an  acquisition  rather  than  anything  else  in  those 
warlike  times.  The  question  is  interesting,  and  perhaps  some  of 
our  members  may  throw  more  light  on  it. 

According  to  tradition,  Farquhar  lived  for  seven  years  among 
the  hills  of  Kintail,  and  at  the  expiry  of  that  period  he  con- 
sidered himself  a  free  man,  and  unexpectedly  appeared  at  a  funeral 
in  CUl  Duthaich,  to  the  great  delight  of  his  friends.  He  had  to 
pay  assythement  (ransom,  or  t'drig)  for  the  bailiff  however  ;  but  ac- 
cording to  the  popular  belief,  no  further  proceedings  could  be  taken 
against  him.  Being  taunted  by  a  friend  of  the  bailiff  that  he  was  a 
murderer,  Farquhar  replied — Ma  mharbh  mis'  e,  nach  d'  ith  sibh- 
fhein  e  1 — (If  I  killed  him,  have  you  not  eaten  him  yourselves  1) 
This,  of  course,  alluded  to  the  ransom.  Mackenzie  would  not  how- 
ever forgive  Farquhar,  and  sent  a  messenger  to  him  saying  that  he 
must  never  again  appear  before  "  the  high  chief  of  Kintail ;"  but 
when  the  chief  made  an  expedition  afterwards  to  the  island  of  Lews, 
Farquhar  did  unknown  accompany  the  army.  When  they  arrived 
at  Poolewe,  Mackenzie  complained  that  so  few  of  his  men  went  from 
Kintail.  Whereupon,  one  of  them  retorted  — "  How  can  we  have 
men  when  you  would  not  suffer  the  best  man  in  Kintail  to  see 
you  ? "  Mackenzie  asked  who  was  he  ;  and  being  told  it  was  Far- 
quhar, who  was  as  good  as  twenty  men,  "  I  wish,"  said  Mackenzie, 
"  we  had  him."  "  If  you  engage,"  answered  the  other,  "  that  you 
will  give  him  every  freedom  he  had  before  he  killed  the  bailiff,  I  do 
not  know  but  we  might  get  him  yet."  That  being  promised,  Far- 
quhar was  introduced,  and  he  and  Mackenzie  were  reconciled. 


28  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

After  this  introduction,  I  will  give  you  the  song  which  Farquhai 
is  said  to  have  composed  during  his  exile ;  and  which  to  my  mind 
is  well  worthy  of  being  here  preserved  : — 

Cha'n  e  dlreadh  na  bruthaich, 

Dh'fhag  ma  shiubhal  gun  tre6ir. — Cha'n,  &c. 

No  teas  ri  lath'  gre'ine, 

'Nuair  a  dh'eireadh  i  6irnn. — No  teas,  &c. 

Laidh  a'  sneachd  so  air  m'  f  heusaig, 

'Us  cha  le'ir  dhomh  mo  bhr6g. — Laidh,  &c. 

'S  gann  is  le'ir  dhomh  ni  's  fhaisge, 

Ceann  a  bhata  tha  m'  dhorn. — 'S  gann,  &c. 

'S  e  mo  thubhailte  m'  osan, 

'S  e  mo  chopan  mo  bhr6g. — 'S  e  mo,  &c. 

'S  e  mo  thigh  mor  na  creagan, 

'S  e  mo  dhaingeann  gach  fr6g. — 'S  e  mo,  &c. 

Ge  do  cheannainn  am  buideal, 

Cha'n  fhaigh  mi  cuideachd  'ni  61. — Ge,  &c. 

'S  ged  a  cheannainn  a'  seipein, 

Cha'n  fhaigh  mi  creideas  a  stoip. — 'S  ged,  &c. 

Ged  a  dh'fhadainn  an  teine, 

Chi  fear  foille  dheth  ce6. — Ged,  &c. 

'S  i  do  nighean-sa,  Dhonnchaidh, 

Chuir  an  iomagain  so  oirnn. — 'S  i  do,  &c. 

To*  'g  am  beil  an  cul  dualach, 

0  'guallainn  gu  broig. — T<^  'g  am,  &c. 

To"  'g  am  beil  an  cul  bachlach, 

'S  a  dhreach  mar  an  t-6r. — T£  'g  am,  &c. 

Dheoin  Dia  cha  bhi  gillean, 

Eiut  a'  mire  's  mi  be6. — Dheoin,  &c. 

'S  mor  gum  b'fhearr  dhut  mi  agad, 

Na  aon  mhac  breabadair  be6. — 'S  mor,  &c. 

Ged  nach  deanainn  dut  fidhe, 

Bhiodh  iasg  a's  sithionn  mu  d'  bh6rd. — Ged,  &c. 

'S  truagh  nach  robh  mi  's  tu  'ghaolach, 
Anns  an  aonach  'm  bi  'n  ce6, — 'S  truagh,  &c. 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio.  29 

Ann  am  biithaig  bhig  bharraich, 

'S  gun  bhi  mar  riuin  ach  d'fhe6il.— Ann,  &c. 

Agus  paisdean  beag  leinibh, 

A  cheileadh  ar  g!6ir. — Agus,  &c. 

'S  mi  gu  snamhadh  an  caolas, 

Air  son  faoilteachd  do  bhe6il. — 'S  mi,  fcc. 

'Nuair  a  thigeadh  am  foghar, 

B'e  mo  roghainn  bhi  falbh. — 'Xuair,  &c. 

Leis  a'  ghunna  nach  diultadh, 

'S  leis  an  fhudar  dhu'-ghorm.— Leis,  &c. 

'Nuair  a  gheibhinn  cead  frithe, 

0  'n  righ  's  o  'n  iarl'  6g. — 'Nuair,  &c. 

Gum  biodh  fuil  an  daimh  chabraich 
'Euith  le  altaibh  mo  dhorn. — Gum,  &c. 

Agus  fuil  a'  bhuic  bhioraich 

'Sior  shileadh  feadh  fe6ir. — Agus,  &c. 

Ach  's  i  do  nighean-sa,  Dhonnchaidh, 
'Chuir  an  iomagain  so  6irnn. — Ach,  &c. 


The  following  Rann  was  composed  by  a  Macdonald,  who  lived 
in  Doch-an-fhasaidh,  and  was  addressed  to  Konald  Macdonald, 
alias  Raonul  Ghlinn-Turraid.  It  is  a  specimen  of  those  verses,  or 
Itainn,  common  at  one  time,  in  which  the  versifier  in  expressing 
some  wish,  lauds  one  clan  and  pays  few  compliments  to  another. 
In  the  present  case,  the  Mackintoshes  and  the  Campbells  come  in 
for  the  versifier's  displeasure.  The  verses  would,  no  doubt,  have 
provoked  the  wrath  of  some  members  of  these  clans  at  that  time, 
and  probably  called  forth^similar  replies  ;  but  happily  Mackintoshes 
and  Campbells  will  look  on  them  to-day  with  a  smile  : — 

Na'm  bu  leats'  'bhiodh  an  rioghachd 

Bhithinns'  cinnteach  a  pairt  dhi ; 
Bhiodh  an  Fhearsaid  a's  Innseadh, 

Agam  sgriobhta  air  paipear — 
Eadar  Callart  's  Bun  Nibheis, 

A  Mhaoil-chintreradh  's  Cor-aluinn, 
An  Eilean-Treig  bhiodh  mo  dhachaidh 

'S  thogainn  caisteal  'san  Laraig. 


30  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Thogaim  caisteal  'san  Fhearsaid 

A  chumadh  feachd  ri  am  strithc, 
Cha  bhiodh  Toisich  sa'  Cheapaich 

Cha  bhiodh  Gait  ann  gu  sgriobadh  ; 
Cha  bhiodh  piseadh  no  Camabheul, 

Eadar  Banbh  agus  lie, 
'S  bhiodh  Clann-Domhnuill,  na  gallain 

Anns  gach  baile  gun  chis  on' ! 

I  will  now  give  a  Beannacliadh  Baird.  The  bard  was  formerly 
called  upon  to  give  a  Beannachailh  as  often  as  the  minister  is  now- 
a-days  ;  and  numerous  are  the  bard's  blessings  that  are  left  to  us  in 
some  form  or  other.  The  following  blessing  was  addressed  to  a 
bride  on  the  day  after  her  marriage,  as  she  came  forth  with  her 
maidens  from  the  bridal  bed.  According  to  custom  she  gave  a  dram 
to  all  the  bridal  party,  and  in  return  each  member  of  the  party  pre- 
sented her  with  some  article  to  be  of  future  use,  and  the  bard  usu- 
ally administered  his  blessing.  On  the  occasion  of  the  marriage  of 
the  Rev.  Donald  MacLeod,  minister  of  Duirinish,  Skye  (ob.  1760), 
there  was  no  bard  present  to  bless  the  bride.  The  worthy  minister, 
conservative  of  the  manners  and  customs  of  his  race,  was  equal  to 
the  occasion  however,  for  he  readily  assumed  the  position  of  bard 
himself,  and  addressed  his  bride  in  the  following  beautiful  lines  : — 

Mile  failte  dhuit  le  d'  bhreid ! 

Fad  do  re*  gu'n  robh  thu  slan  ! 
Moran  laithean  dhuit  a's  sith, 

Le  d'  mhaitheas  a's  le  d'  ni  bhi  fas. 

A  chulaidh  cheutach  so  chaidh  'suas 
'S  trie  a  tharruing  buaidh  air  mnaoi, 

Bi  sa  gu  subhailceach,  ciallach, 

0  thiunnsgain  thu  fein  'san  t-srith. 

An  tus  do  chomhraidh,  a's  tu  6g, 
An  tus  gach  16  iarr  Eigh  nan  dul, 

'S  cha'n  eagal  nach  dean  thu  gu  ceart 
Gach  dearbh-bheachd  a  bhios  'na  d'  ruin. 

Bl  sa  fialaidh,  ach  bi  glic, 

Bi  misneachdail,  ach  bi  stold' ; 
Na  bi  bruidhneach,  's  na  bi  balbh, 

Ka  bi  niear,  no  marbh,  's  tu  6g. 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio,  31 

Bi  gleidhteach  air  do  dheadh  ruin, 

Ach  na  bi  duinte,  's  na  bi  fuar, 
Na  labhair  air  neach  gu  h-olc, 

'S  ged  labhrar  ort  na  taisbean  fuaih. 

!N"a  bi  gearanach  fo  chrois, 

Falbh  socair  le  cupan  Ian, 
Chaoidh  d'  an  olc  na  tabhair  speis, 

'S  le  do  bhreid  ort,  mile  failt  I 

With  the  following  love  song  by  a  Glengarry  man  I  will,  for 
the  present,  conclude  : — 

Luinne.ag. — Thug  mi  'n  oidhche  'n  raoir  'san  airidh, 
Thug  mi  'n  oidhche  'n  raoir  'san  airidh, 
Cha  d'  fhuair  mi  ann  bheag  a  chaoimhneas, 
Chionn  bhi  faoighneach  air  son  Mairi. 

'Illean  cridhe  suidhibh  socair, 
'Bhean-an-tighe  lion  am  botul, 
Faigh  an  c6rn  'san  tog  sinn  tosda, 
'S  olaidh  sinn  an  deoch  air  Mairi. 

Bean  do  choltais  tha  i  ainneamh, 
Do  dha  ghruaidh  mar  chaorr'  air  mheangan, 
Faileadh  na  su-chraobh  dhe  d'  anail — 
Bilean  tan'  air  dhreach  na  sgarlaid. 

Tha  fait  sniomhan  mu  do  ghuaillean — 
Cha'n  'eil  strlth  na  chumail  suas  dut  ; 
Gur  a  boidheach  h'abh  do  chuailein, 

Bachlach,  dualach,  cuachach,  fainneach. 

Gur  a  maith  'thig  gun  de'n  t-sloda, 
Air  do  phearsa  chuimir  dhireach, 
Ciochan  corrach  air  uchd  min-gheal — 

'S  chlte  dath  an  fhion  tromh'  d'  bhraighe. 

Tha  do  dheudach  cuimir  c6mhnard, 
'S  i  mar  iobharaidh  an  6rdugh, 
Mala  chaol  mar  ite  'n  eoin, 

A's  chlte  'n  comhnaidh  tiamh  a'  gh&ir'  ort. 


32  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Calpa  cruinn  an  t-siubhail  £utrom, 
Troidh  shocair  nach  dochunn  feur — 
An  ain  a'  chiuil  a  bhi  ga  ghleusadh — 

Dh'  fhaithnichinn  do  cheum  air  chlaraidh. 


'S  binne  liom  do  ghuth  na  smeorach 
Maduinn  Cheitein  am  barr  6gain — 
Nighean  donn  nara  meall-shuil  mbdhar 
'S  e  do  chomhradh  'rinn  mo  thaladh. 

Tha  thu  do  dh-fhion  fhuil  Chlann-Uaraig, 
De  na  fiurain  nach  robh  suarach, 
Eadar  Lianachan  's  na  Cluanan, 
Bu  pbailt  uair-eigin  do  chairdean. 

Tha  do  chairdeas  dlleas  daingean, 
Ri  cloinn  Domhnuill  Ghlinne-Garaidh — 
'S  math  a  b'  aithne  dhomh  na  gallain, 
A  bha  dealaidh  dha  do  mhathair. 

Tha  na  nighneagan  an  gruaim  rium, 
Chionn  a  mheud  'sa  thug  mi  luaidh  dhut — 
Ciamar  dh'  fhaodas  mi  toirt  fuath  dhut, 
'S  liuthad  buaidh  a  tha  'co-fhas  riut. 

'S  iomadh  caile  lachdunn  chiarr-dhubh, 
'Th'air  an  lasadh  suas  le  miathlachd, 
Bho  na  chual  iad  gu'm  bheil  miagh  dhiot, 
'S  nach  toir  gille's  fhiach  a  ghradh  dhoibh. 

Bho  na  chaidh  thu  do  Dhuneideann 
'Chumail  comunn  ri  luchd  Beurla, 
'S  eagal  liom  gu'n  dean  thu  geilleadh, 

'S  gu'm  faigh  fear  de  'n  treud  air  lairnh  thu  ! 

Bho  na  dh'  fhalbh  thu  moch  di-luain  bhuainn, 
Air  a'  bhat'  air  bharr  nan  stuaidhean, 
Guidheam  slan  a  h-uile  uair  dhut, 

Bho  'n  rinn  thu  'n  taobh  tuath  so  fhagail ! 


Annual  Dinner.  33 

27TH  NOVEMBER,  1878. 

Mr.  Macdonald,  blacksmith,  Invergarry,  at  the  meeting  held 
on  this  date,  was  elected  an  ordinary  member  ;  and  some  routine 
business  was  transacted. 

17iH  DECEMBER,  1878. 

At  this  meeting,  Mr.  Alex.  Mackenzie  reported  that  the  first 
meeting  of  the  Federation  of  Celtic  Societies,  which  was  held  in 
Glasgow  on  20th  November  last,  was  in  every  way  a  great  success, 
and  he  submitted  the  Constitution  of  the  Federation.  The  objects 
of  the  Federation  are  these — "  The  preservation  of  the  Gaelic 
language  and  literature ;  the  encouragement  of  Celtic  education  in 
schools  and  colleges ;  and  generally  the  promotion  of  the  interests 
of  Highlanders  in  accordance  with  the  spirit  and  constitution  of  the 
affiliated  societies." 

24rTH  DECEMBER,  1878. 

At  the  meeting  on  this  date  arrangements  were  made  for  the 
annual  dinner  of  the  Society. 

SEVENTH  ANNUAL  DINNER 

The  Seventh  Annual  Dinner  was  held  in  the  Caledonian  Hotel, 
on  Tuesday  evening,  January  14,  1879 — Sir  Kenneth  S.  Mackenzie 
of  Gairloch,  Bart.,  presided,  whilst  the  Rev.  Alex.  Macgregor,  Inver- 
ness, and  Mr.  John  Mackay  of  Ben  Reay  acted  as  croupiers.  The 
chair  was  supported  by  Provost  Simpson  ;  the  Rev.  Mr.  Mackenzie, 
Kilmorack;  Mr.  W.  Jolly,  H.M.  Inspector  of  Schools;  Mr.  Alex- 
ander Ross,  architect ;  Mr.  Walter  Carruthers,  Gordouville ;  and 
Captain  Neil  Scobie,  Mid-Fearn.  Among  those  present  were — • 

The  Rev.  Mr.  Cameron,  Gaelic  Church;  Dr.  Macnee;  Dr.  F. 
M.  Mackenzie ;  Mr.  Rhind,  architect ;  Mr.  Andrew  Davidson, 
sculptor;  Mr.  W.  B.  Forsyth,  Millburn;  Mr.  Mackintosh,  of 
Messrs.  Mactavish  &  Mackintosh;  Mr.  Gunn,  of  Messrs.  Gunn 
&  Grant;  Mr.  Alex.  Macleod,  grocer,  Bridge  Street;  Mr.  Ross, 
of  the  Gas  and  Water  Office ;  Mr.  Shaw,  Castle  Street ;  Mr.  Mac- 
kenzie of  the  Celtic  Magazine;  Mr.  Macraild,  writer;  Mr.  W.  G. 
Stuart,  draper,  Castle  Street ;  Mr.  Watt,  Volunteer  Arms  Hotel ; 
Mr.  Ewen  C.  Mackenzie,  Broomhill  of  Ord ;  Mr.  Hood,  commission 
agent ;  Mr.  Murdo  Maclennan,  carpenter ;  Mr.  Colin  Chisholm, 
Namur  Cottage ;  Mr.  Wallace,  rector,  High  School ;  Mr.  Charles 
Mackay,  carpenter ;  Mr.  J.  Macdonald,  Buckie ;  Bailie  Noble ;  Mr. 

3 


34  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Rose,  late  of  London ;  Mr.  Macpherson,  Moray  Firth  Steam- 
shipping  Company ;  Mr.  John  Macdonald,  Exchange ;  Mr.  Donald 
Campbell,  draper;  Mr.  Macdonald,  live  stock  agent;  Mr.  Huntly 
Eraser,  Kinmy lie's;  Mr.  Wm.  Mackay,  solicitor;  Mr.  Macbean, 
auctioneer;  Mr.  Couper,  Highland  Hallway;  Mr.  Deas,  of  Innes 
and  Mackay,  solicitors;  Mr.  Fraser,  C.E. ;  Mr.  John  Murdoch, 
Highlander  Office ;  Mr.  Whyte,  do. ;  Mr.  Wm.  Mackenzie,  of  the 
Fres  Press,  Secretary  to  the  Society;  Mr.  Wm.  Bain,  Inverness 
Courier ;  Mr.  James  Cameron,  Kingsmills  Road ;  Mr.  Archibald 
Chisholm,  Sheriff-Clerk  Depute;  Mr.  Urquhart,  Sheriff-Clerk's 
Office,  &c. 

Apologies  for  unavoidable  absence  were  received  from — 
The  Earl  of  Seafield  ;  General  Sir  Patrick  Grant,  G.C.B. ;  Mr. 
Fraser-Mackintosh,  M.P. ;  Mr.  Angus  Mackintosh  of  Holme ;  Mr. 
John  Mackay,  Swansea ;  Mr.  O.  H.  Mackenzie  of  Inverewe ;  the 
Rev.  Dr.  Maclauchlan,  Edinburgh ;  Colonel  Macpherson  of  Glen- 
truim ;  Captain  Chisholm,  Glassburn ;  Major  Grant,  Drumbuie ; 
Mr.  J.  Chisholm-Gooden,  London ;  Dr.  Charles  Mackay,  Fern  Dell, 
Dorking  ;  Bailie  Macdonald,  Aberdeen  ;  Dr.  Stratton,  Devon  port ; 
Capt.  D.  P.  Macdonald,  Invernevis,  Fort- William  ;  Mr.  Cameron 
of  Clunes ;  Mr.  Alex.  Mackenzie,  architect,  Glasgow ;  Mr.  Robert 
Fergusson,  Rapploch ;  Mr.  Simon  Mackenzie,  Edinburgh ;  Mr. 
Donald  Davidson,  solicitor,  Inverness ;  Mr.  John  Macgregor,  Inver- 
moriston  Hotel;  Mr.  A.  C.  Mackenzie,  Mary  burgh;  Mr.  Charles 
Fergusson,  Kindrogan,  Pitlochry;  Mr.  Alex.  Ross,  Alness;  Mr. 
Simon  Chisholm,  Flowerdale,  Gairloch;  Mr.  Thomas  Mackenzie, 
Broadstone  Park,  Inverness;  Mr.  J.  Macdonald,  Inland  Revenue, 
London ;  Rev.  A.  C.  Sutherland,  Strathbraan ;  Mr.  E.  Forsyth, 
Inverness ;  Mr.  H.  Whyte,  Glasgow ;  Mr.  Alex.  Mackenzie,  wine 
merchant,  Inverness ;  Rev.  A.  Bisset,  Stratherrick ;  Rev.  A.  Mac- 
rae, Clachan ;  Dr.  Mackenzie  of  Eileanach  ;  Mr.  A.  Burgess,  Royal 
Bank,  Gairloch;  Rev.  J.  Macpherson,  Lairg;  Mr.  D.  Sinclair, 
Lochalsh ;  Rev.  John  Sinclair,  Kinlochrannoch ;  Rev.  J.  Grant, 
M.A.,  Kilmuir ;  Mr.  Jas.  Clunas,  Nairn ;  Mr.  J.  Nicolson,  Birming- 
ham; Mr.  John  Macfarquhar,  Inverness;  Mr.  L.  Macbean,  Kirk- 
caldy  ;  Mr.  E.  Macrae,  Braintra ;  Rev.  L.  Maclachlan,  Tain  ;  Mr. 
D.  Macrae,  Ardintoul ;  Mr.  Wm.  Mackenzie,  solicitor,  Dingwall ; 
Mr.  Geo.  J.  Campbell,  solicitor,  Inverness ;  Mr.  James  Mackintosh, 
India  Street,  Glasgow ;  Mr.  Roderick  Ross,  Middlesbro'-on-Tees ; 
Mr.  A.  Mackenzie,  Ardross ;  Mr.  Wm.  Mackenzie,  factor,  Ardross ; 
Mr.  A.  Mackintosh  Shaw,  London ;  Mr.  Alpin  Chisholm,  Inverness; 
Mr.  H.  C.  Macandrew,  Inverness;  Mr.  H.  E.  Cameron,  Clunes, 
Lochaber;  Mr.  W.  A.  Smith,  Manchester;  Mr.  P.  A.  Mackin- 


Annual  Dinner.  35 

tosh,  C.E.,  Bury ;  Mr.  Archibald  Cameron,  Glenbar ;  Rev.  M.  Mac 
gregor,  Ferrintosh,  &c. 

Pipe-Major  Maclennan,  piper  to  the  Society,  played  while  the 
guests  assembled  ;  and  Mr.  Menzies,  as  usual,  supplied  an  excellent 
dinner.  The  Rev.  Mr.  Macgregor  said  grace,  and,  dinner  over,  the 
Rev.  Mr.  Mackenzie  returned  thanks. 

The  Secretary,  Mr.  William  Mackenzie,  then  read  the  following 
telegram  which  he  had  received  from  Mr.  John  Mackay,  Swansea  : 
— "  Tapadh  leibh  a  dhaoine  mo  chridhe !  Bithibh  dileas,  fearail, 
anns  gach  cruaidh-chas.  Piseach  air  a'  chomunn  !  Subhachas, 
slainte,  agus  sonus  do  'D  Ridire  ! " 

The  Chairman  opened  the  toast  list  by  proposing  in  Gaelic  the 
health  of  Her  Majesty  the  Queen.  He  next  gave  the  Prince  and 
Princess  of  Wales  and  the  other  members  of  the  Royal  Family, 
making  a  brief  and  suitable  reference  to  the  death  of  the  Princess 
Alice. 

The  Chairman  next  proposed  very  briefly  the  Navy,  Army,  and 
Reserve  Forces.  Captain  Scobie,  Highland  Rifle  Militia,  and  Cap- 
tain Ross,  Inverness  Artillery  Volunteers,  acknowledged  the  toast 
on  behalf  of  the  auxiliary  forces. 

Mr.  William  Mackenzie,  the  secretary  of  the  Society,  read  the 
Annual  Report,  which  is  as  follows  : — 

The  regular  publication  of  the  Society's  Transactions  renders  a 
copious  report  of  our  doings  during  the  year  unnecessary  at  this 
time.  I  will  therefore  be  very  brief.  Our  revenue,  including  £82 
from  last  year,  amounted  to  £236  7s.  2|d.,  and  our  expenditure 
to  £204  6s.  Id.,  leaving  a  balance  of  £32  Is.  l|d.  in  favour  of 
the  Society.  I  wish  to  point  out  that,  although  the  balance  in  our 
favour  is  less  than  what  it  was  last  year,  there  is  no  decay  on  the 
part  of  the  Society,  for,  while  last  year  we  had  to  pay  for  one 
volume  of  Transactions  (vol.  v.),  this  year  we  had  to  pay  for  two 
(vols.  vi.  and  vii.) — the  publication  of  two  volumes  being  necessary 
iu  order  to  bring  the  issue  of  the  Transactions  up  to  date.  During 
the  year  sixty  new  members  have  joined.  Much  good  work  has 
been  accomplished  by  the  Society  since  our  last  dinner,  and  that  its 
influence  is  not  confined  to  the  Highlands  is  amply  proved  by  a  re- 
view of  our  last  volume  of  Transactions,  in  the  current  number  of 
the  Revue  Celtique,  where  we  are  told  that  "  the  Gaelic  Society  of 
Inverness  still  continues  to  maintain  the  Celtic  spirit  in  Scotland ; " 
and  after  enlarging  on  the  different  works  accomplished  by  the  So- 
ciety during  the  year,  alluding  specially  to  the  position  of  Gaelic  in 
Highland  schools,  and  the  Celtic  Federation,  which  is  for  "  defend- 
ing with  greater  force  the  national  cause,"  the  reviewer  (M.  Gaidoz, 


36  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

a  well-known  continental  litterateur)  says — "  Nous  voudrions  que 
les  autres  pays  celtiques  eussent  le  patriotisme  et  la  te"nacite  des 
Ecossais." 

The  Chairman  then  gave  the  toast  of  the  evening,  Success  to 
the  Gaelic  Society.  Four  years  ago,  he  said,  when  I  had  the  hon- 
our of  occupying  this  chair,  I  availed  myself  of  the  opportunity  to 
recount  what  this  Society  had  done  to  fulfil  the  object  of  its  insti- 
tution, and  to-night,  in  proposing  the  toast  of  the  evening,  allow  me 
first  of  all  to  refer  shortly  to  something  of  what  has  taken  place  in 
the  four  years  that  have  since  elapsed,  for  which  the  Society  may 
take  a  share  of  credit.  The  endowment  of  the  Celtic  Chair,  then 
still  a  matter  of  uncertainty,  has  now  become  an  accomplished  fact 
— thanks  to  the  energy  of  our  friend  Professor  Blackie,  but  thanks 
also  to  the  existence  of  a  feeling  on  which  the  Professor  was  able 
to  work,  which  such  societies  as  ours  had  done  much  to  create. 
To  our  Society  also,  backed  by  the  efforts  of  the  member  for  this 
town,  it  is  due  principally,  if  not  entirely,  that  the  Scotch  Educa- 
tion Department  has  recognised  the  Gaelic  language  as  a  fit  medium 
of  instruction  for  Gaelic-speaking  children.  Then  a  new  magazine, 
devoted  to  Highland  literature  and  Highland  interests,  has  been 
established  by  your  former  excellent  Secretary,  and  though  it  is  in 
no  way  under  our  control,  it  very  efficiently  promotes  some  of  the 
objects  we  have  set  before  us,  and  it  is  not,  I  think,  too  much  to 
say  that  the  idea  of  providing  such  a  periodical  would  never  have 
taken  shape  but  for  our  Society's  existence.  Again,  only  the  other 
day,  our  Society  took  a  prominent  part  in  promoting  a  federal 
union  of  all  the  Celtic  Societies  of  the  country,  by  which  each  of 
them  gains  a  great  accession  of  strength.  In  addition  to  all  this, 
many  papers  have  been  published  in  the  Society's  Transactions  of 
permanent  interest  and  value ;  so  I  may  fairly  and  honestly  con- 
gratulate you,  the  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness,  on  having  maintained 
an  active  and  useful  life.  The  Celtic  Magazine,  to  which  I  have 
alluded,  is  now  in  its  fourth  year,  and  is,  I  hope  and  believe,  an 
assured  success.  It  opened  its  third  volume  with  an  essay  on 
"  The  Poetry  and  Prose  of  a  Highland  Croft,"  which  attracted  so 
much  observation  that  our  leading  Scottish  journal  thought  the 
public  sufficiently  interested  to  make  it  worth  sending  a  special 
commissioner  to  the  West  Highlands,  to  report  on  this  abnormal 
element  of  society — the  West  Coast  crofter.  The  Commissioner's 
letters  were  of  course  widely  read,  and  intended  to  extend  the  area 
of  discussion.  The  Scotsman  itself  could  see  in  the  croft  system  only 
an  unmitigated  evil ;  others  (like  the  Highlander  in  this  town), 
could  see  in  it  nothing  but  good ;  while  a  third  party,  admitting 


Annual  Dinner.  37 

the  misery  spoken  to  by  the  Celtic  Magazine  and  the  Scotsman's 
commissioner,  thought  that  by  legislation  (of  a  character  which  I 
fear  they  did  not  clearly  define  to  themselves),  the  crofter's  position 
might  be  brought  back  to  that  of  an  ideal  past,  in  which  I  have  no 
doubt  they  firmly  believed.  The  subject  has  for  the  present  ceased 
to  be  before  the  public,  but  differing  as  I  do  from  the  views  of  all 
to  whom  I  have  referred,  I  should  like  to  give  you  my  own  opinion 
upon  it — if,  in  doing  so,  I  do  not  take  too  great  advantage  of  the  po- 
sition I  occupy,  and  trespass  too  largely  on  the  time  of  a  social 
gathering.  I  am  not  going  to  speak  of  bygone  evictions,  nor  of  the 
middle-class  Highland  farmers,  who  have  to  a  large  extent  disap- 
peared, but  of  the  crofter  population,  as  we  now  find  it  on  the  West 
Coast  and  on  the  islands  that  border  it ;  a  population  that  lives  by 
manual  labour,  and  whose  condition,  to  be  rightly  judged  of,  must 
be  compared  with  that  of  unskilled  labourers  elsewhere  in  Britain. 
Now,  there  may  be  very  little  poetry  in  rising  at  five,  and  being  at 
work  by  six,  in  labouring  ten  hours  a-day  in  summer,  and  from 
daylight  to  dark  in  winter,  but  the  ordinary  agricultural  labourer 
finds  no  hardship  in  it,  neither  should  the  crofter ;  although  (let  it 
be  said  in  passing)  he  does  not,  when  residing  at  home  on  his  croft, 
rise  very  often  at  five,  or  do  anything  like  the  amount  of  an  agri- 
cultural labourer's  work,  except  perhaps  for  an  odd  week  or  two 
at  seed-time.  The  hardship  of  his  lot  lies  not  in  any  toil  or 
slavery  to  be  endured  at  home,  but  in  the  fact  that  his  croft  under 
present  conditions  does  not  produce  enough  to  maintain  himself  and 
his  family,  and  that  day's  wages  are  not  to  be  earned  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood. So  he  has  to  leave  his  home  for  months  in  order  to  eke 
out  a  livelihood,  and  being  naturally  tempted  to  return  whenever 
he  has  gathered  what  he  hopes  will  pull  him  through  the  year,  he 
seldom  has  to  spare  ;  while,  if  work  is  scarce,  or  the  fishing  bad,  or 
the  harvest  a  failure,  there  may  not  only  be  nothing  to  spare,  but 
there  may  be  absolute  want.  There  is  then  no  question  that  the 
West  Coast  crofter  seldom  finds  himself  able  to  indulge  in  luxury. 
If  by  frugal  living  he  manages  just  to  keep  himself  out  of  reach  of 
want,  his  position  is  still  not  one  that  outsiders  are  inclined  to 
envy  ;  but  it  is  absolutely  certain  that,  despite  the  hardships  with 
which  he  has  to  contend,  not  one  crofter  in  ten  desires  to  change 
his  condition,  by  removing  with  his  family  to  some  other  part  of 
the  country,  where  he  could  have  regular  employment  for  twelve 
months  in  the  year.  It  is  this  fact  that  puts  to  the  rout  all  theories 
as  to  the  misery  of  the  crofter.  He  has  miseries,  undoubtedly. 
Who  has  not  ?  But,  on  the  other  hand,  it  is  equally  certain  that 
(however  invisible  they  may  be  to  others)  he  has  compensating  ad- 


38  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

vantages  which  make  him  prefer  his  present  fate  to  any  other  that 
lies  open  to  him  elsewhere.  He  does  not  care  to  forfeit  advantages 
he  possesses  for  others  less  esteemed  by  him.  If  I  may  so  put  it, 
the  bad  prose  of  his  life  is  tempered  by  a  poetry  which  to  him 
makes  life  more  enjoyable  than  where  it  is  all  prose,  even  of  a  better 
kind.  Nor  let  it  be  supposed  that  I  think  his  contentment  founded 
on  an  unsubstantial  basis  because  I  speak  of  it  as  partly  due  to 
sentiment.  If,  for  a  time,  he  has  to  leave  his  family,  and  endure 
toil  and  hardship  for  the  rest  of  the  year,  he  has  compensation  in 
being  his  own  master,  and  in  enjoying  much  more  ease  than  the  ordi- 
nary labourer  does.  If  he  has  to  live  frugally,  and  sometimes  even 
finds  himself  stinted,  he  has,  on  the  other  hand,  an  assured  home, 
surrounded  by  neighbours  whose  fathers  were  his  father's  neigh- 
bours, where  the  members  of  his  family  that  have  gone  out  into  the 
world  will  still  occasionally  return  to  gladden  his  eyes  ;  a  home  in 
which  they  will  maintain  him  when  he  is  overtaken  by  age  and 
frailty,  and  in  which  he  may  expect  to  be  succeeded  by  his  sons. 
And  who  that  knows  what  sacrifices  a  labourer  will  make  to  keep 
a  cow,  and  what  attachment  springs  up  between  every  member  of 
his  family  and  the  petted  animal,  but  must  admit  the  greater  inte- 
rest that  centres  in  a  crofter's  home,  with  its  small  stocking  of  cattle 
and  sheep,  than  in  a  home  which  fate  has  cast  in  a  village  garret  or 
in  some  alley  or  close  of  a  large  town.  Whether  I  am  right  or 
wrong  in  the  reasons  1  thus  assign  for  the  crofter's  content,  this 
must  be  accepted  as  a  fact,  that  for  no  increase  of  material  plenty, 
which  is  within  his  reach,  will  he  give  up  his  present  surroundings, 
and  surely  he  knows  better  than  his  critics  what  tends  most  to  his 
own  happiness.  But  I  not  only  maintain  on  this  ground  that  he 
is  happier  where  he  is  at  the  present  time  than  he -would  be  else- 
where, but  further,  that  his  actual  condition  now  is  better  than  ever 
was  that  of  his  predecessors  of  the  same  class  before,  and  that  his 
circumstances  have  improved,  and  are  improving  before  our  eyes  in 
this  generation.  At  what  period  were  persons  of  the  crofter  class 
better  off  in  the  Highlands  than  those  that  are  left  there  now  1  Be- 
fore the  time  of  the  Union,  the  Highlands  was  a  scene  of  anarchy. 
The  records  of  the  condition  of  the  people  in  those  times  are  in- 
deed scanty ;  but  such  as  they  are,  they  tell  chiefly  of  tribal  feuds, 
of  lands  harried,  of  revenges  taken,  of  battle  and  murder,  and  sud- 
den death.  The  prose  of  life  in  those  days  had  no  doubt  a  good 
deal  of  compensating  poetry,  but  even  the  West  Highland  crofter 
of  to-day  would  not  think  the  compensation  sufficient.  Passing 
from  those  times  to  the  eighteenth  century,  let  me  refer  to  three  or 
four  volumes  that  I  doubt  not  are  in  the  Society's  library,  from 


Annual  Dinner.  39 

which  a  tolerable  idea  can  be  gathered  of  the  condition  of  the  popu- 
lation in  the  Highlands  at  the  time  when  these  books  were  respec- 
tively written.  In  the  beginning  of  Queen  Anne's  reign,  Martin, 
a  Skyeman,  published  a  book  on  the  Hebrides.  It  is  full  of  won- 
ders, sorcery,  second-sight,  and  marvellous  properties  possessed  by 
men,  animals,  and  places  in  the  islands.  The  one  thing  that  is 
never  described  except  in  passing  remarks,  is  the  ordinary  condition 
of  the  inhabitants.  But  from  these  passing  remarks  we  learn  some- 
thing of  what  that  condition  was.  There  was  not  in  Martin's  time 
sufficient  food  to  maintain  either  the  people  or  their  cattle.  Of  the 
latter,  many,  he  says,  died  in  winter  and  spring.  He  had  known 
particular  persons  lose  above  one  hundred  cows  at  a  time,  merely 
by  want  of  fodder.  As  for  the  people,  he  more  than  once  reports 
that  many  of  them  were  forced,  for  want  of  subsistence  at  home,  to 
seek  their  livelihood  in  foreign  countries.  Scarcity  is  so  common 
apparently  that  he  speaks  of  it  regretfully,  no  doubt,  but  without 
astonishment.  At  Tiree,  he  mentions  how  a  flock  of  bottlenosed 
whales  ran  themselves  ashore  "  very  seasonably  in  time  of  scarcity, 
for  the  natives  did  eat  them  all."  But  of  the  scarcity  which  re- 
duced the  population  to  such  food  he  makes  no  further  men- 
tion. It  is  a  common  every-day  occurrence,  casually  referred  to 
in  mentioning  this  wonderful  and  seasonable  supply.  Five-and- 
thirty  years  after  Martin's  time  we  have  the  very  graphic  letters 
of  Captain  Burt,  written  from  this  town.  He  did  not  penetrate 
to  the  West  Coast  except  at  Fort- William,  but  he  tells  us  a 
good  deal  of  the  inhabitants  hereabouts,  and  between  here  and 
Lochaber,  and  we  may  be  sure  their  condition  was  not  worse 
than  that  of  those  on  the  North-west  Coasts.  Burt  tells  us  that 
even  in  the  most  favourable  seasons  the  country  hereabouts  pro- 
duced barely  sufficient  grain  for  its  own  supply,  that  in  other 
seasons  there  was  a  deficiency,  and  he  had  known  consterna- 
tion in  Inverness  for  want  of  oatmeal,  when  the  shipping  had  been 
retarded,  and  he  tells  how,  being  once  at  Fort- William,  a  poor 
woman  came  to  the  garrison  to  beg  for  oatmeal  for  her  starving 
family,  and  refused  money,  because  there  was  no  food  in  the  country 
that  could  be  purchased  with  it.  He  had  known  of  as  many  as  200 
horses  die  of  a  spring  from  starvation,  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Inverness.  He  was  paying  himself  4s.  a  bushel  for  the  oats  with 
which  he  fed  his  horse  (its  present  price  being  only  2s.  4d.),  and 
money  was  so  scarce  that  the  country  women  who  came  to  the 
town  could  not  afford  the  pontage  bodle  (l-6th  of  a  penny),  but 
waded  the  river  up  to  their  middles  with  heavy  burdens  on  their 
backs.  He  says  the  poverty  of  the  field-labourer  was  deplorable, 


40  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

and  that  the  maid-servants  at  his  lodgings  got  only  three  half- 
crowns  a-year  of  wages,  and  a  peck  of  meal  a- week  for  hoard,  i.e., 
1  Ib.  a-day,  which  was  just  the  test  wage  allowed  by  the  Relief 
Committee  during  the  potato  famine  in  1847.  None  of  this  is  set 
clown  in  ill-nature.  He  defends  the  Highlanders  from  the  charge 
of  indolence  commonly  brought  against  them.  He  says  he  was 
annoyed  by  the  importunity  with  which  they  sought  work  at  a 
time  when  he  had  some  doing,  and  that  when  they  have  gained 
strength  from  substantial  food  they  work  as  well  as  others ;  and 
he  reflects,  "  Why  should  a  people  be  branded  with  the  name  of 
idlers  when  there  is  no  profitable  work  for  them  to  doT  With 
reference  to  the  farms,  he  mentions  that  12  merks  Scots  (13s.  4d.) 
was  a  common  rent,  and  many  rents  were  still  smaller,  and  that 
when  tacksmen  held  land  at  a  rent  of  ,£30  or  £40  they  frequently 
or  commonly  sub-let  it  again  in  these  small  holdings,  so  you  see  the 
smallness  of  the  modern  crofter's  holdings  is  nothing  new.  The 
poverty  of  the  tenants  was  such  that  a  portion  of  arrears  had  to  be 
wiped  off  every  year,  involving  to  the  landlord  an  average  loss  of 
one-fifth  of  the  rental.  If  we  pass  over  another  thirty-five  years, 
we  come  to  the  time  of  Pennant's  tour.  I  must  not  detain  you  by 
any  long  reference  to  what  he  says,  but  will  quote  one  well-known 
passage.  "  Hundreds  annually  drag  through  the  season  a  wretched 
life,  and  numbers  unknown  in  all  parts  of  the  Western  Highlands 
(nothing  local  is  intended)  fall  beneath  the  pressure,  some  of 
hunger,  more  of  the  putrid  fever,  the  epidemic  of  the  coasts 
originating  from  unwholesome  food,  the  dire  effects  of  necessity  : 
moral  and  innocent  victims !  first  finding  that  place  '  where  the 
wicked  cease  from  troubling  and  the  weary  are  at  rest.'"  Pennant's 
tour  was  written  two  years  before  the  outbreak  of  the  American 
War,  and  it  was  not  till  its  conclusion  that  sheep  farming  was  in- 
troduced north  of  the  Grampians,  and  that  the  old  tenants  began  to 
be  disturbed  in  their  occupation  of  the  land.  Let  me  refer  you 
further  to  the  Rev.  John  Buchanan's  account  of  the  Long  Island, 
from  1782  to  1790,  for  an  even  more  melancholy  account  of  the 
condition  of  the  people.  There  is  not  only  poverty  but  oppression, 
and  poverty  resulting  from  oppression.  My  own  ancestors,  who 
were  not,  I  believe,  thought  bad  landlords  as  times  went,  all 
through  the  last  century  bound  their  tenants  to  deliver  to  them 
their  saleable  cattle  at  a  reasonable  price — and  I  suppose  the  power 
of  determining  what  was  reasonable  when  tenants  had  only 
five  years'  tacks  lay  very  much  with  the  laird — and  down  to 
the  commencement  of  this  century,  those  tenants  living  near  the 
coast  had  to  keep  fishing  gear  and  boats,  proportioned  to  the  size 


Annual  Dinner.  41 

of  their  farms  and  sufficient  sub-tenants  to  work  them,  and  were 
bound  to  deliver  their  fish  at  a  fixed  price  to  a  curer  who  had  a 
contract  with  the  laird.  This  is  a  state  of  things  that  has  abso- 
lutely passed  away.  Such  penury  and  misery  as  is  spoken  of  by 
the  authors  I  have  quoted  is  not  now  to  be  met  with,  nor  are  ten- 
ants subjected  to  such  tyrannical  obligations  as  those  that  formerly 
existed  on  the  Gairloch  property  ;  and  I  maintain  that,  in  respect 
of  freedom  from  poverty  and  oppression,  the  crofter  of  to-day  is 
better  off  than  the  crofter  of  the  eighteenth  century,  and  in  every 
way  is  more  happily  circumstanced  than  his  ancestor  of  a  still  ear- 
lier time,  who  was,  perhaps,  roasted  in  the  Church  of  Gilchrist,  or 
stifled  in  the  cave  of  Eigg.  And  not  only  this,  but  coming  down 
from  those  remote  times  (our  conceptions  of  which,  though  true  in 
outline  perhaps,  are  apt  to  be  coloured  by  our  imaginations)  to  the 
period  covered  by  our  own  times,  I  cannot  help  saying  that  the 
condition  of  the  crofter  population  on  the  West  Coast  with  which 
I  come  in  contact  has  undergone  a  vast  improvement  in  the  last 
thirty  years,  and  I  think  a  very  visible  improvement  even  in  the 
last  ten  years.  If  any  one  asks  me  for  its  sign,  let  him  look  at  the 
houses  erected  now-a-days  by  crofters,  when  they  find  it  necessary 
to  renew  their  habitations,  and  compare  them,  if  he  has  reached 
middle  age,  with  those  with  which  crofters  were  contented  in  the 
days  of  his  boyhood.  Or  let  him  observe  them  going  to  the  East 
Coast  fishing,  and  see  how  many  tramp  it  with  their  bags  on  their 
backs,  as  in  days  of  yore.  Even  if  disappointed  in  securing  a  place 
on  the  coach,  they  will  turn  back  and  wait  for  another  day  rather 
than  walk  to  the  nearest  railway  station,  though  their  fathers 
trudged  the  whole  way  to  Morayshire  without  a  grumble.  When 
I  see  these  signs  of  progress,  I  think  there  is  cause  for  satisfaction, 
even  though  the  progress  has  not  reached  the  point  that  I  should 
wish  to  see.  There  are  those  who  make  light  of  the  West  High- 
lander's attachment  to  his  home,  and  who  think  that,  if  his  material 
condition  were  much  better  than  it  is,  he  would  still  be  an  incubus 
to  the  country.  They  believe  the  small  farm  system  to  be  detri- 
mental to  the  national  interests,  since  the  producer  consumes  all  he 
produces,  and  adds  nothing  to  the  accumulations  of  the  nation,  and 
they  would  have  all  the  crofts  thrown  into  large  farms,  and  their 
tenants  drafted  off  to  work  for  day's  wages  at  some  other  productive 
employment.  The  state  of  trade  at  the  present  time  scarcely  gives 
much  encouragement  to  views  of  this  kind.  Ten  days  ago  Lord 
Derby,  speaking  at  Rochdale,  made  mention  of  a  suggestion  that 
distress  might  be  relieved  by  inverting  this  process,  and  forming 
small  farms  out  of  large  ones  for  the  employment  of  surplus  town 


42  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

populations.  It  is  true  he  did  not  speak  hopefully  of  the  project, 
but  he  thought  it  an  experiment  worth  trying ;  and  when  a  states- 
man of  his  character  thus  speaks,  I  do  not  think  that,  for  political 
reasons,  we  should  part  with  a  crofter  population  which  we  find 
existing  in  contentment,  even  though  its  circumstances  are  poor. 
The  crofter's  advancement  hitherto  has  been  due  to  three  influences 
— education,  improved  means  of  locomotion  and  communication, 
and  the  general  prosperity  of  Eritain.  The  two  first  have  permitted 
him  to  take  advantage  of  the  last.  He  has  been  enabled  to  go  out 
into  the  world  and  bring  home  the  spoils  of  labour.  But  what  we 
really  want  for  him  is  to  have  the  opportunity  of  winning  those 
spoils  at  home.  Now,  the  only  industries  for  which  there  seems  to 
be  any  opening  on  the  West  Coast  are  those  of  fishing  and  hus- 
bandry. The  West  Highlander  is  more  or  less  of  a  fisherman,  but 
is  not  a  successful  one.  It  has  been  observed  that  all  coast  popu- 
lations that  have  the  advantages  of  good  harbours  to  which  they 
can  easily  run  for  safety  make  bad  seamen  ;  and  it  is  a  fact  that 
the  Moray  Firth  fisherman,  partly  no  doubt  from  his  better  ma- 
terial, but  still  more  from  his  energy  and  hardihood,  will  go  to  the 
West  Coast  fishing  and  catch  there  three  times  as  much  as  the  na- 
tives do.  I  am  therefore  rather  hopeless  of  ever  making  the  fishing 
on  the  West  Coast  a  sound  native  industry,  and  I  place  more  re- 
liance on  husbandry.  It  has  been  stated  in  the  Celtic  Magazine, 
and  stated,  I  believe,  correctly,  that  as  at  present  cultivated  a  four- 
acre  croft  in  the  West  Highlands  does  not  produce  more  than  two 
bolls  of  meal  and  twelve  of  potatoes.  There  is  evidently  room  here 
for  great  improvement,  for  such  returns  would  not  pay  the  cost  of 
cultivation  on  a  large  arable  farm.  If  you  look  on  this  side  of  the 
watershed  you  see  that  the  Highlander  is  quite  capable  of  adopt- 
ing the  new  and  improved  forms  of  agriculture  which  he  sees  in 
practice  around  him,  and  I  believe  these  improvements  will  ex- 
tend to  the  West  in  time.  At  present  the  invincible  force 
of  habit  leads  the  West  Coast  crofter  to  follow  the  system  of 
cultivation  inherited  from  his  father,  but  with  the  increase  of 
education  and  of  intercourse  with  the  world,  we  may  expect  local 
customs  will  obtain  a  less  domineering  influence.  Certain  it  is  that 
if  his  idle  hours  in  winter  were  spent  in  draining  his  croft  and 
loosening  its  subsoil,  he  might  have  three  times  the  return  from  it 
he  now  has.  Four  acres  properly  cultivated,  with  the  rights  of 
common  pasturage  he  possesses,  would  give  him  a  bare  subsistence: 
to  make  him  comfortable  he  should  have  six  or  eight  arable  acres. 
And  no  doubt  in  the  circumstances  I  assume  he  would  soon  come 
to  have  that.  With  the  increased  value  arable  land  would  then 


Annual  Dinner.  43 

possess  he  would  be  glad  to  reclaim  more  from  its  native  state  with 
a  little  encouragement  from  the  laird.  If  there  were  no  subject  fit 
for  reclamation,  and  the  country  was  really  over-populated,  the 
spread  of  education  and  facilities  of  locomotion  would  tend  to  thin 
the  population  to  its  proper  limits;  but  the  crofters'  home  is  so 
much  more  attractive  than  that  of  others  in  the  same  class  of  life, 
that  I  do  not  think  any  such  voluntary  emigration  would  likely 
take  place  as  would  lead  to  the  abandonment  of  the  crofting  system. 
Thus  I  not  only  see  progress  in  the  past  and  in  the  present,  but  am 
able  to  look  forward  with  hope  to  the  future.  You  will  observe 
that  though  I  speak  of  a  hopeful  future,  I  do  so  without  looking  to 
Parliament  for  its  aid.  To  tell  the  truth,  I  never  could  understand 
in  what  way  Parliamentary  action  could  be  beneficial.  Parliament 
does  not  undertake  to  distribute  private  property  except  when  a 
man  dies  intestate,  and  it  has  ceased  to  subsidise  particular  in- 
dustries out  of  the  general  funds  of  the  nation.  Some  changes  in 
the  land  laws  are  looked  forward  to,  but,  on  the  whole,  I  think 
these  changes  would  rather  tend  to  the  doing  away  with  small 
farms  altogether  than  to  the  amelioration  of  the  condition  of  the 
small  farmer.  The  future  of  the  crofter  is,  I  take  it  mainly,  in  his 
own  hands  and  in  those  of  his  landlord,  but  especially  in  his  own. 
Public  opinion  may  indeed  act  as  a  bar  to  harsh  actions  on  the  part 
of  the  landlord,  and  as  an  incentive  to  increased  exertion  on  the 
part  of  a  more  enlightened  generation  of  crofters  accessible  to  its 
influence,  but  that  is  all  the  outside  help  which  the  crofter  is,  I 
think,  likely  to  get.  As  the  judicious  exponent  of  public  opinion, 
this  Society  may  be  able  to  befriend  him.  If  it  can  assist  him  in 
any  other  way  to  which  I  am  blind,  none  would  rejoice  more  than  I. 
Time  forbids  me  to  enter  on  the  question  of  croft  tenure,  as  in- 
deed, I  owe  you  an  apology  for  the  length  at  which  I  have  already 
spoken,  and  I  will  not  detain  you  further  than  to  express  my  hope 
and  my  confidence  that  the  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness  will  always 
maintain  as  warm  an  interest  in  the  people  of  the  West  Highlands 
as  in  the  language  and  literature  of  their  inheritance,  and  will  so 
continue  to  secure  the  adherence,  attachment,  and  support  of  all 
true  Highlanders. 

The  toast  was  then  drunk  with  great  enthusiasm. 

The  Eev.  Mr.  Macgregor,  who  was  greeted  with  loud  applause, 
said — Is  i  an  Deoch-slainte  a  chuireadh  'nam  lamhaibh  an 
nochd — "  Deoch-slainte  nan  Uaislean  sin  a  tha  air  an  sonrachadh 
gu  bhi  'nam  Buill  ann  an  Ard-Chomhairle  na  Rioghachd  air  son  gach 
Siorrachd  agus  Baile  Kioghail  ann  an  Gaidhealtachd  na  h-Alba." 
Tha  na  Buill  sin  lionmhor,  moran  diubh  arm  an  ard-inbh,  gu  leir 


44  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

cliu-thoilltinneach,  agus  airidh  air  deagh-dhurachd  a'  Chomuinn  so  ; 
— ach  air  domhsa  a  bhi  gun  eolas  agam  ach  air  triuir  diubh  a  mhain, 
cha'n  ainmich  mi  fa  leth  ach  iadsan  na'n  aonar — eadhon  iadsan  a 
tha  'nam  Buill  air  son  Siorrachd  Rois,  Siorrachd  Inbhimis,  Baile 
Inbhirnis  agus  na  Frith-Bhailte  Rioghail  a  tha  dluth-cheangailte 
ris.  Toisichidh  mi  le  Siorrachd  Hois,  thairis  air  am  bheil  Alasdair 
Mac-Mhathain  na  Bhall  dhe  'n  Pharlamaid,  mar  a  bha  e  air  na 
Bailtibh  so  an  toiseach.  Tha  sinn  uile  fad,  fad  an  comain  a' 
Mhathanaich  shuairce  agus  fhad-cheannach  !  Mar  b'  e  esan,  cha 
bhiodh  an  t-Each-iaruinn  a'  sitrich  gach  maduinn,  agus  meadhon 
latha  agus  feasgair,  troimh  ar  sraidean  air  a  steud-thurasaibh  luain- 
each  gu  deas  agus  tuath — gu  Baile-Dheorsa,  an  t-Eilean  Sgiathanach, 
agus  bailte  na  h-airde-tuath, — agus  air  tionndadh  dha  gu  deas,  leum- 
aidh  e  thar  gach  creag  agus  corrach-bheann,  gus  an  ruig  e  cornh- 
nardan  Baile  Pheairt !  Is  iongantach  an  creutair  an  t-Each-iaruinn  ! 
Cha'n  iarr  e  ach  druthag  uisge,  agus  gealbhan  teine,  agus  an  sin 
mithidh  e  mar  a'  ghaoth  fein  !  Is  e  am  Mathanach  mor  'na  ghlio- 
cas,  a'  shuidhich  tuineachas  agus  dachaidh  an  Eich-iaruinn  's  a 
Bhaile  so.  Mar  b'  e  gu'n  do  ghlac  e  am  fath — gu'n  do  bhuail  e  an . 
t-iarunn  an  uair  a  bha  e  teth, — agus  gu'n  do  ghreas  e  cuisean  air  an 
aghaidh  le  'cheann  agus  le  'chuid  (agus  is  mor  iad  le  cheile),  cha 
chluinneamaid  gleadhraich  nan  ceardaichean  agus  nam  buthan  lion- 
mhor  sin  's  a  Bhaile  so,  far  am  bheil  na  ceudan  a'  faotuinn  obair 
agus  teachd-an-tir,  agus  far  am  bheil  gach  feumalachd  air  a'  dheas- 
achadh  a  dh'  iarras  na  slighean-iaruinn  !  Is  iongantach  na  cear- 
daichean iad  sin  !  Tha  gach  inneal  agus  udalan,  gach  cnag  agus 
slat,  gach  dul  agus  dealg,  gach  rothan  agus  mul,  air  an  dealbhadh 
leis  an  luchd-ealaidh  dhe  gach  gne,  agus  cha'n  fhaicear  anns  na 
ceardaichibh  sin  a  thall  's  a  bhos  ach  gach  obair-innealta  agus  eal- 
anta,  cuibhlean,  ruidhlean,  rothlairean,  luidheirean,  agus  cearcaill 
dhe  gach  meud  !  Is  e  am  Mathanach  ceudna  a  dh'  ath-uraich  taobh- 
an-iar  na  h-aibhne  againn  le  roidibh,  sraidibh,  agus  aitreibhean  lion- 
mhor  a  chumadh  agus  a  thogail.  Is  airidh  esan  air  deagh-mn  na 
cuideachd  so.  Dh'  ainmichinn  a  nis  am  Ball  uasal  sin  a  thaghadh 
air  son  ar  siorrachd  fein — eadhon  Lochiall,  duin-uasal,  suairce, 
ceanalta,  deas-bhriathrach,  agus  aigeantach,  le  bhreacan-an-fheile  ! 
Thainig  e  o  shinnsear  a  bha  gaisgeil  agus  treun  ann  an  tuasaidibh  f 
nam  Fineachan,  co  maith  'sann  an  dionadh  na  Rioghacd.  Bha  e  K 
'gabhail  suim  'sa  Pharlamaid  'san  am,  do  na  reachdaibh  a  rinneadh 
a  thaobh  nan  sgoilean  ura  a  shuidhicheadh  'nar  tir,  agus  cha'n  'eil 
teagamh  nach  robh  e  furachair  air  cuisibh  eile  adhartachadh  ;  ach 
tha  duil  aig  an  Ard-Albannach  nach  d'  rinn  Lochiall  idir  na  dh' 
fheudadh  e  air  son  leas  nan  Gaidheal  agus  na  Gaidhealtachd  ;  ach 


Annual  Dinner.  45 

biodh  sin  mar  a  dh'  fheudas,  bheir  sinne  guth  maith  do  Cheann- 
cinnidh  nan  Camshronach,  le  bhi  'guidhe  dha  saoghal  fad  agus 
deagh  bheatba.  Ach,  "  gach  dileas  gu  deireadh,"  dh'  ainnmichinn  a 
nis  Teavlach  coiragainn  fein  ;  ach  gabhaibh  mo  leisgeul,  cha  deanainn 
ach  smal  a  cbur  air  a  bliuaidhibh  tarbhach  le  bhi  toiseachadh  air  an 
aithris.  Tha  sibh  uile  eolach  orra,  agus  cha  chomas  domhsa  an 
luaidh.  Togaidh  a'  Ghailig  agus  na  Gaidheil  fianuis  air  a  threubh- 
antas.  Tha  Clachnacudainn  fathast  a'  fuaim  le  h-iolach-gaire  a' 
ruhor  chuideachd  a  chuir  urram  air  o  chionn  uine  nach  fada  air  ais 
agus  is  airidh  e  air  deagh-mheas  a'  Chomuinn  so,  dhe  'm  bheil  e 
'na  phriomh-bhall  urramach,  agus  tlachd-cridhe  mhuinntir  nara 
Bailtean  sin,  air  son  am  bheil  e  'seasamh  ann  an  Ard-chomhairle  na 
Rioghachd.  Aoh  cluinnibh  mi,  ann  an  aon  fhocal  eile  m'an  co'- 
dhuin  mi ;  agus  'se  sin,  gu'm  bheil  mi'n  dochas  gu'n  d'  thig  an  la 
anns  am  bi  ar  caraid  uasal,  ionmhuinn,  cinneadail  fein  an  Eidir 
Coinneach  Ghearrloch,  (a  tha  aig  ceann  a'  bhuird  an  nochd)  'na 
Bhall  ann  am  Parlamaid  na  Rioghachd  air  son  cearnaidh  air  chor-eigin 
'nar  tir  !  Ochan  'se  dheanadh  an  gaire-mor  ri  sin  an  Ceilteach,  seadh, 
agus  an  t-Ard-Albannach  mar  an  ceudna,  ged  nach  ann  de  shliochd 
'nan  cabar  e  : — ach  dheanamaid  uile  e,  oir  c'ait  am  bheil  uasal  ni's 
airidh  na  esan  air  urram,  agus  ni's  freagarraiche  na  e,  chum  dleas'- 
nais  na  dreuchda  sin  a  cho'-lionadh  ]  Leis  gach  iolach  agus  urram 
'nar  comus,  olamaid  Deoch  Slainte  nan  Uaislean  sin  a  tha  air  an 
sonrachadh  gu  bhi  'nani  Buill  ann  an  Ard-chomhairle  na  Rioghachd, 
air  son  gach  Siorrachd  agus  Baile  Rioghail  ann  an  Gaidhealtachd  na 
h-Alba. 

Mr.  "Wm.  Mackay,  solicitor,  Inverness,  proposed  the  next  toast. 
He  said — Unfortunately,  our  country — "  Tir  nam  Beann,  nan 
Gleann,  's  nan  Gai.sgeach" — is  at  present  under  a  cloud,  the  like  of 
which  has  not  darkened  the  land  within  the  memory  of  man.  On 
the  beautiful  notes  of  the  Caledonian  Bank  are  engraved  the  very 
words  of  our  toast — "  Tir  nam  Beann,  nan  Gleann,  's  nan  Gaisgeach" 
— shewing  that  the  institution  is  peculiarly  a  Highland  one,  and 
that  its  founders,  who  adopted  that  motto,  loved  our  bens  and  glens, 
and  the  people  who  inhabited  them — and  well  were  the  best  inte- 
rests of  the  Highlands  kept  in  view  by  the  Bank.  I  have  recently 
had  occasion  to  read  the  minutes  of  the  Company,  and  the  annual 
reports  of  the  Directors  from  1838  (when  the  Bank  was  established) 
until  1878,  when  it  suspended  business,  and  I  was  much  struck 
with  the  uniform  anxiety  of  the  Directors  and  officials  from  the 
first  to  the  last  to  encourage  trade  in  the  Highlands,  and  to  give 
every  legitimate  assistance  to  Highland  farmers,  large  and  small. 
The  advantages  of  this  policy  were  mutual,  and  it  is  due  to  those 


46  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness- 

who  managed  the  Bank  that  we  should  acknowledge  that  while 
they  did  give  such  liberal  encouragement  and  assistance,  the  man- 
agement of  the  Bank  attained  a  position  in  the  confidence  of  the 
public  second  to  none  in  the  kingdom.  But  all  that  is  changed. 
The  institution  which  has  for  forty  years  been  the  pride  and  the  boon 
of  our  country  has  been  rudely  shaken.  Its  beautiful  notes  with 
their  picture  of  our  Highland  capital  are  even  already  hardly  to  be 
seen,  those  little  banners  with  their  proud  legend  of  "  Tir  nam 
Beann,  nan  Gleann,  's  nan  Gaisgeach"  are  laid  low,  and  that  too  by 
the  hand  of  the  Saxon.  Glasgow  two  centuries  ago  had  unpleasant 
experiences  of  the  tender  mercies  of  the  Highland  host.  It  has  now 
had  a  fell  if  a  tardy  revenge.  And  here  I  may  refer  to  the  fact 
that  the  three  Celtic  corners  of  the  kingdom  are  at  present  similarly 
afflicted.  First,  our  Highland  Bank  suspended,  then  the  Bank  of 
South  Wales  closed  its  doors ;  and  now  the  Cornish  Bank  has  fol- 
lowed suit.  I  am  not  to  enlarge  upon  this  coincidence,  I  only 
mention  it  as  a  remarkable  one.  Well,  the  horizon  is  dark,  but  we 
must  not  be  discouraged.  The  Highlands — "  Tir  nam  Beann" — 
will  survive  this  catastrophe  as  it  has  done  former  disasters.  We  are 
are  all  agreed  that  if  our  country  is  to  prosper  as  it  has  hitherto 
done,  we  must  have  a  local  bank.  Upon  this  point  all  who  are 
interested  in  the  fate  of  the  Caledonian  are  united — directors,  offi- 
cials, shareholders,  and  customers.  But  upon  the  question  how 
this  end  is  to  be  attained,  there  are,  I  am  sorry  to  say,  serious  dif- 
ferences of  opinion.  Where  so  many  older  and  more  experienced 
men  are  endeavouring  to  point  out  the  true  path,  I  will  not  pre- 
sume to  raise  my  hand ;  but  this  you  will  allow  me  to  say — that  if 
those  interested  in  the  Caledonian  Bank  are  to  get  out  of  their  pre- 
sent difficulties  it  is  not  by  each  of  them  adopting  a  course  of  his 
own,  and  insisting  that  his  is  the  only  true  course.  We  must  cease 
to  impute  sinister  motives  to,  and  make  groundless  accusations 
against,  those  to  whom  to  a  large  extent  we  owe  the  high  position 
the  Bank  occupied  until  the  collapse  of  the  City  of  Glasgow  Bank, 
those  who  had  nothing  to  gain  but  everything  to  lose  by  the  death 
of  the  Caledonian  ;  and  finally,  we  must  no  longer  allow  ourselves 
to  be  tossed  to  and  fro  and  carried  about  by  every  wind  of  doctrine 
that  may  appear  in  print. 

Mr.  John  Macdonald,  Exchange,  who  was  called  on  to  respond, 
said  the  references  of  the  last  speaker  to  then-  local  disaster  were 
calculated  to  cast  a  gloom  over  their  otherwise  pleasant  meeting. 
He  trusted,  however,  that  the  cloud  of  distress  at  present  hanging 
over  the  Highlands  would  soon  pass  away.  But  the  circumstances 
of  the  people  of  the  north  were  by  no  means  so  gloomy  and  dis- 


Annual  Dinner.  47 

tressing  as  in  other  parts  of  the  country,  where  hundreds  could  not 
obtain  work  and  were  being  fed  by  common  charity.  There  was 
every  reason,  indeed,  to  be  hopeful ;  and  when  they  looked  back 
to  the  times  referred  to  by  their  excellent  Chairman,  in  his  able  and 
exhaustive  address,  they  might  well  consider  they  were  not  so  badly 
off  after  all,  und  that  as  in  the  past  they  would  successfully  emerge 
from  all  their  present  troubles.  As  Sir  Kenneth  had  said,  much 
depended  on  their  lairds,  but  very  much  on  the  Highlanders  them- 
selves. When  it  was  known  what  could  be  produced  in  various 
branches  of  industry  under  the  most  disadvantageous  circumstances, 
the  Highland  people  did  not  stand  in  the  most  favourable  contrast. 
A  good  deal  of  the  spare  time  of  the  Highland  crofter — for  it  was 
well  known  he  had  much  time  on  his  hand  turned  to  little  or  no 
account — might  be  devoted  to  the  production  of  various  useful 
articles  of  handicraft,  such  as  were  produced  in  the  south  in  blind 
asylums  and  other  similar  institutions,  by  people  who  had  only  the 
use  of  one-half  of  their  limbs  and  faculties.  He  by  no  means  meant 
that  the  Highlanders  were  in  the  same  condition  as  such  people ; 
what  he  meant  to  convey  was  that  the  Highland  crofter  had  better 
physical  and  mental  ability  at  present  lying  dormant,  and  plenty 
time  at  his  disposal  to  turn  it  to  practical  account.  The  public 
press  could  not  do  better  in  this  part  of  the  country  than  earnestly 
urge  upon  Highlanders  to  imitate  those  who  made  the  most  of  their 
time  by  engaging  in  honest  and  profitable  labour. 

Mr.  Mackay  of  Ben  Reay  proposed  the  next  toast.  He  said — Sir 
Kenneth  and  gentlemen, — The  Council  of  the  Society  made  a  great 
mistake  when  they  selected  me  to  propose  the  toast  of  the  Celtic 
Language,  Celtic  Literature,  and  the  Celtic  Chair.  A  man  who  has 
for  his  motto  as  I  have,  "  with  a  strong  hand,"  is  not  likely  to  be  a 
man  of  many  words.  I  am  a  man  of  few  words,  so  it  was  cruel  to 
insist  that  I  should  propose  three  toasts  in  one  for  the  language,  the 
literature,  and  the  chair — each  being  itself  worthy  of  a  separate 
speech.  However,  it  is  with  great  pleasure  that  I  put  the  tri-une 
toast  before  you,  and  its  importance  will,  I  am  certain,  ensure  for 
it  an  enthusiastic  reception.  It  is  unnecessary  that  I  should  say  a 
word  by  way  of  commending  the  language,  for  it  is  the  mother 
tongue  of  most  of  us,  and  of  course  will  carry  with  it  feelings  of 
affection,  sympathy,  and  warm-heartedness,  which  it  is  impossible 
to  convey  through  any  other  channel.  The  influence  of  the  lan- 
guage which  we  have  spoken  in  our  youth  is  proverbial ;  and  any 
one  who  has  sojourned  in  a  foreign  country,  or  lived  in  a  distant 
colony,  must  know  how  a  word  or  a  phrase  that  he  has  not  heard 
since  he  left  his  home  in  the  old  fatherland,  sends  a  thrill  of  emotion 


48  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness, 

through  him  that  no  other  influence  can  produce.  I  have  felt  it 
myself,  and  seen  its  workings  in  others,  when  thousands  of  miles 
away  from  the  hills  and  glens  of  old  Scotland.  The  Celtic  lan- 
guage, and  especially  our  branch  of  it — the  Scoto-Gaelic — being 
peculiarly  one  of  poetry,  and  of  the  affections,  and  highly  expres- 
sive, clings  perhaps  with  greater  tenderness  in  the  feelings  of  those 
who  speak  it  than  any  other.  Take  away  the  language  (and  I  may 
also  say  the  dress)  of  a  people,  and  you  denationalise  that  people  at 
once.  And  yet  I  have  heard  many  a  one  say  that  Gaelic  is  of  no 
value,  and  that  it  would  do  better  if  it  were  numbered  among  the 
tongues  of  the  past ;  but  a  language  that  is  the  vehicle  of  communi- 
cation among  upwards  of  300,000  of  the  people  of  Scotland,  is 
surely  of  some  account,  and  worthy  of  the  serious  consideration  of 
every  well-wisher  of  his  country.  Depend  upon  it,  if  you  ever  see 
a  Highlander  ashamed  of  his  Gaelic,  give  him  a  wide  berth  ;  he  is 
not  to  be  trusted  !  I  am  not  going  to  attempt  to  give  you  a  history 
of  the  language,  but  shall  say  that  of  its  antiquity  there  can  be 
no  doubt ;  and  the  fact  that  the  key  to  the  meaning  of  the  names 
of  places  all  over  Scotland,  and  also  to  some  extent  in  England,  is 
to  be  found  in  the  Gaelic,  is  surely  a  very  good  reason  why  we 
should  wish  to  preserve  it.  "  The  Gaelic  Topography  of  Scotland," 
a  valuable  work  by  Colonel  Eobertson,  is  sufficient  in  itself  to 
satisfy  even  the  most  sceptical  on  this  point.  Colonel  Kobertson 
says  : — "  As  to  the  present  Highlanders'  language,  let  the  intelli- 
gent reader  duly  weigh  and  consider  the  fact  of  the  numerous  river 
names  in  England  and  Scotland.  .  .  .  The  etymology  of  each 
can  only  with  truth  be  assigned  to  the  Gaelic  language  of  the  High- 
landers. .  .  .  When  these  facts  are  duly  weighed  and  con- 
sidered, it  may  be  seen  that  it  is  a  truth  which  cannot  be  contro- 
verted .  .  .  that  the  present  Gaelic  language  of  the  High- 
landers is  identical  with  the  Gaelic  names  of  all  places  in  every 
part  of  Scotland  and  the  islands,  and  that  their  language  is  thereby 
unquestionably  the  same  as  that  of  the  Caledonians,  by  whom  alone 
all  the  original  Gaelic  names  of  places  were  given,  particularly 
those  of  the  numerous  mountains,  rivers,  lakes,  valleys,  islands,  &c., 
&c.,  throughout  the  whole  extent  of  Scotland."  From  the  language 
to  the  literature  of  the  Gael  is  an  easy  and  a  natural  step.  I  was 
asked  by  a  visitor  the  other  day  if  the  Highlanders  really  had  a 
literature,  when,  as  an  answer,  I  took  from  my  book-shelves  a  copy 
of  Reid's  "  Bibliotheca  Scoto-Celtica,"  and  said — "Look  at  that. 
There  is  a  list  of  the  Scottish-Gaelic  books  which  were  known  to  be 
in  existence  fifty  years  ago  ;"  and  my  friend  was  surprised  at  their 
number.  It  is  true  that,  with  the  exception  of  poetry,  most  of  the 


Annual  Dinner.  49 

works  are  translations ;  yet  the  whole  forms  a  valuable  collection, 
and  numbers  170  separate  works.  But  Reid's  list  was  compiled  at 
a  time  when  but  little  attention  was  paid  to  Gaelic  literature. 
"  The  Beauties  of  Gaelic  Poetry"  had  not  been  published  ;  "  The 
Book  of  the  Dean  of  Lisinore"  was  unknown  ;  and  I  doubt  even  if 
that  most  indefatigable  of  collectors,  J.  F.  Campbell  of  Islay,  had 
been  born.  Mr.  Campbell,  as  you  all  know,  gave  us  some  years 
ago  his  four  interesting  volumes  of  "  West  Highland  Tales,"  and 
more  recently  that  extraordinary  and  valuable  collection  of  Heroic 
Ballads,  orally  collected  by  himself  and  those  who  assisted  him.  I 
mean  "  Leabhar  na  Feinne."  That  volume  contains  a  mass  of 
poetic  literature  of  which  any  nation  may  be  proud.  I  may  also 
refer  to  "  The  Gaelic  Etymology  of  the  English  Language,"  by  Dr. 
Charles  Mackay,  and  however  opinions  may  differ  as  to  some  of  his 
derivations,  it  is  a  volume  that  shows  an  amount  of  research  and 
patient  investigation  that  merits  our  warmest  thanks ;  and,  as  a 
help  in  philological  study,  it  is  of  the  highest  value.  I  need  not 
notice  the  many  pamphlets,  magazines,  and  newspapers  which  have 
been  attempted  in  Gaelic.  Somehow  or  other  they  have  not  been 
successful.  The  "Welsh,  on  the  other  hand,  either  because  they 
are  more  enthusiastic  in  their  Celtic  fire  than  we  are,  or  from 
some  other  cause  which  I  cannot  explain,  support  newspapers  in 
then-  mother  tongue,  which,  apparently,  we  cannot.  Still,  in 
Inverness,  we  have  the  Highlander  and  the  Celtic  Magazine,  for 
both  of  which  we  are  thankful.  I  will  not  refer  to  the  many  books, 
either  in  Irish  or  Welsh,  although  the  former  is  so  closely  allied, 
but  will  merely  say  that  Irish  Gaelic  has  received  a  stimulus  that 
is  likely  to  bring  within  reach  of  those  who  wish  to  read  them, 
copies  of  nearly  all  the  valuable  manuscripts  in  that  branch  of  the 
language.  But  to  appreciate  the  literature  it  is  necessary  that  we 
should  be  able  to  read  the  language,  for  it  is  a  painful  fact  that  of 
the  many  thousands  who  speak  Gaelic  very  few  can  read  it.  Reid, 
in  the  introduction  to  his  "  Bibliotheca-Scoto-Celtica,''  to  which  I 
have  already  referred,  wrote  in  1832  as  follows  : — "  At  the  present 
moment,  although  great  exertions  are  making  by  many  distinguished 
friends  of  Celtic  literature  to  perpetuate  the  language.  .... 
yet  they  have  to  contend  with  opponents  to  which  they  can  offer 
but  trifling  resistance.  The  steamboats  and  stage-coaches  which 
are  now  visiting  the  Highlands  do  more  in  one  season  to  chase  away 
the  Gaelic  than  all  the  combined  powers  of  those  who  are  labouring 
in  its  behalf  could  remedy  in  twenty  years.  The  listlessness  evinced 
by  many  of  the  Highland  clergy  to  the  stud}'  of  the  Gaelic  language 
is  another  powerful  reason  for  its  ...  decline.  These  gen  tie - 

4 


50  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

men  could  do  more  for  the  cause  of  Gaelic  literature  than  any  other 
class,  if  they  cared  much  about  it.     ...     They  could  fan  its  ex- 
piring spark  by  patronising  the  simple  and  primitive  laity  in  their 
parishes  who  evince  an  ardour  in  its    cultivation.     They  could 
strongly  recommend  its  being  learned  at  school  by  the  children  of 
their  parishioners,  but  this,  we  are  sorry  to  say,  is  not  done."  Now, 
what  Eeid,  in  the  quotation  I  have  just  read,  says  of  the  clergy  in 
1832  is  applicable,  I  fear,  to  a  great  many  of  them  in  1879.     But 
what  I  am  surprised  at  is  that  the  School  Boards  in  the  Highlands 
seem  to  take  very  little  interest  in  promoting  the  knowledge  of 
Gaelic.     At  the  meeting  of  the  Edinburgh  Sutherland  Association, 
held  last  week,  I  noticed  that  the  Rev.  Dr.  Maclauchlan  referred  to 
this  want  of  interest  with  great  regret.     After  the  efforts  which 
were  made,  and  successfully,  to  get  Gaelic  placed  in  the  School  lists, 
I  think  that  our  Society  should  keep  the  matter  before  the  School 
Boards,  so  that  not  only,  as  Dr.  Maclauchlan  expressed  it,  might 
Highlanders  be  able  to  read  the  Bible  in  their  own  language,  but 
also  that  they  may  read  these  glorious  old  ballads  and  songs  which 
tell  of  the  heroes  of  ancient  days,   and  which  invariably  have   a 
moral  lesson  on  the  side  of  truth  and  virtue  !     What  can  I  say 
about  the  Chair?     Only  this,  that  as  we  have  a  language  and  a 
literature  we  require  a  Chair  in  which  to  install  a  Professor,  to  ex- 
plain the  structure  of  the  one  and  the  beauties  of  the  other.     The 
establishment  of  that  Chair  is  now  an  accomplished  fact,  and  if  the 
year  1878  will  in  after  ages  be  spoken  of  as  a  black  year  for  Scot- 
land (and  after  all  the  recent  disasters  I  fear  it  will),  then  T  hope 
that  1879  will  be  a  red  letter  year  for  the  Highlands  of  Scotland, 
because  in  it  was  founded,  and  the  first  Professor  appointed  to  the 
Chair  of  Celtic  Literature  in  the  University  of  Edinburgh.     Pro- 
fessor Blackie  stated  last  week  that  he  was  only  short  XI 70  to  com- 
plete his  £12,000,  and  that  he  would  have  it  within  the  next  three 
months.     Three  cheers  then  for  the  worthy  Professor,  for  we  owe  a 
debt  of  gratitude  to  him  which  can  never  be  repaid.     Since  coming 
into  this  room  I  have  been  handed  a  letter  from  my  namesake  of 
Swansea,  in  which  he  says  he  has  sent  an  additional  sum  of  £50  to 
Blackie,  as  a  contribution  to  the  chair  from  friends  in  South  Wales, 
and  now  he  says  he  and  his  friends  are  going  to  raise  money  to 
found  bursaries.     I  call  then  also  for  three  cheers  for  John  Mackay 
of  Swansea,  the  President  of  our  Society.     I  couple  the  toast  with 
the  name  of  Mr.  John  Whyte,  Highlander  Office. 

Mr  John  Whyte,  in  replying,  after  some  preliminary  remarks, 
said — To  go  into  any  elaborate  line  of  proof  to  show  that  we  have 
a  literature  were  as  unnecessary  as  it  would  be  impertinent  at  a 


Annual  Dinner.  51 

gathering  of  the  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness.  We  have  a  pretty 
extensive,  and,  as  testified  even  by  those  who  only  taste  of  it 
through  the  medium  of  translation,  a  most  valuable  heritage  of 
written  literature  handed  down  to  us  from  the  past.  And  there 
falls  to  be  added  to  this  the  vast  treasures  of  that  field  which  is 
but  just  entered  upon — I  mean  that  of  our  unwritten  literature. 
Of  the  labours  of  the  workers  in  this  department  it  would  take  me 
too  much  time  to  speak — aye  even  to  mention  their  names.  You 
have  not  a  few  of  them  present  here  this  evening..  Then  there  is 
the  great  and  very  successful  work  that  is  being  done  by  the  socie- 
ties both  in  Ireland  and  America,  for  the  preservation  of  the  Irish 
language.  I  am  sure  we  all  wish  them  prosperity  in  their  under- 
taking, for  there  can  be  no  denying  that  their  language  and  ours 
are  all  but  identical,  and  that  had  their  relationship  and  ours  in 
other  respects  been  more  cordial  and  friendly  and  co-operative  in 
the  past,  as  we  hope  they  may  be  in  the  future — may  I  not  say  as 
we  hope  to  make  them  in  the  future — we  should  have  been  less 
likely  to  have  allowed  ourselves  to  suppose  that  a  whole  hemisphere 
of  difference  existed  between  them  and  us  iu  language  and  race  and 
sentiment.  Henceforth  let  it  be  our  endeavour  to  make  common 
interest  with  them  and  say,  "  Let  there  be  no  strife  between  me 
and  thee,  for  we  be  brethren."  Another  great  branch  of  our  Celtic 
Literature  which  I  am  glad  to  see  is  receiving  more  intelligent  con- 
sideration than  it  did  in  times  past,  and  one  which  is  sure  to 
prove  a  most  opulent  field  for  the  explorer,,  is  that  of  our  Celtic 
music.  I  am  sorry  that  I  can  only  say  our  secular  music,  for  un- 
fortunately, and  from  causes  very  much  beyond  our  control,  our 
ecclesiastical  music  in  the  Highlands  is  in  a  condition  that  is  very 
far  from  creditable  and  satisfactory.  Our  secular  song  has  been  of 
late  receiving  the  attention  of  our  musicians  and  of  others  interested 
in  the  matter.  Our  magazines,  notably  the  late  Gael  and  the  Celtic 
Magazine,  as  well  as  the  Highlander,  have  been  doing  good  work 
in  the  direction  of  rescuing  and  preserving  some  of  our  lyric  songs 
and  tunes,  which  are  in  danger  of  being  lost.  The  other  day  I  had 
the  pleasure  of  seeing  the  first  two  numbers  of  a  new  musical  perio- 
dical called  The  Thistle,  edited  by  Mr  Colin  Brown,  the  Euiiig 
Lecturer  on  Music  in  the  Andersonian  University,  Glasgow,  a  true 
Highlander,  and  one  eminently  qualified  to  enter  intelligently  and 
scientifically  into  the  subject.  The  numbers  which  I  have  seen 
are  most  interesting  to  us  as  Highlanders,  and  I  am  sure  the  work 
will  prove  one  of  great  value.  Thus  you  see  that  from  our  great 
Archbishop  Blackie,  at  the  head  of  our  Celtic  Hierarchy,  down  to 
the  lowest  curate,  the  Celtic  hive  is  all  in  motion,  and  it  only 


52  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

remains  for  us  individually  and  as  societies  to  do  all  we  can  to 
assist  in  the  good  work. 

The  Eev.  Mr.  Mackenzie,  Kilmorack,  who  on  rising  was  very 
cordially  received,  said — I  have  the  honour  to  ask  you  to  join  rue 
in  the  expression  of  our  cordial  good-will  towards  the  other  societies 
which  are  federated  with  our  own.  Let  me  remark  at  the  outset 
that  these  societies  constitute  a  cheering  fact  and  a  great  power, 
and  the  greater  the  power  the  more  important  it  is  that  it  should  be 
wisely  directed  and  strenuously  exercised.  Far  be  it  from  me  to 
cast  any  reflection  upon  those  societies  in  general  or  upon  our  own 
in  particular.  On  the  contrary,  I  readily  admit  the  right  of  the 
members  of  this  Society — the  only  one  with  whose  work  I  am 
acquainted — to  congratulate  themselves  on  the  growing  value  and 
variety  of  their  papers  from  year  to  year.  Still  I  cannot  but  re- 
gret that  the  language  itself,  in  anything  like  a  wide  and  philo- 
logical sense,  receives  but  comparatively  little  attention,  more' 
especially  as  every  question  more  interesting  than  another  is  as  yet 
quite  undetermined.  If  you  ask  how  old  is  it  1  you  get  the  most 
vague  and  even  contradictory  answers.  If  you  ask  where  is  its 
primeval  seat  1  some  answer  the  west  of  Europe,  while  some  with 
greater  reason  regard  it  as  the  primeval  language  of  all  Europe,  and 
of  a  large  portion  of  Asia  besides.  And  if  you  ask  how  does  it 
stand  in  relation  to  the  other  ancient  tongues?  still  the  same  doubt; 
some  linguists  admitting  that  it  along  with  these  languages  are 
daughters  of  a  now  dead  mother,  while  others — at  the  least  one  other 
— are  prepared  to  maintain  that  in  its  oldest  or  topographical  form  it 
is  itself  the  mother — the  living  mother,  the  veritable  Alma  Mater  of 
all  the  Aryan  tongues,  Sanscrit  itself  not  excepted.  I  have  been 
occupied  of  late  in  going  over  Eopp's  Sanscrit  roots,  and  I  have 
come  to  form  a  strong  opinion  that  in  everything  that  constitutes 
oldness,  Gaelic  in  its  oldest  form  is  indefinitely  older  than  this  pet 
language  of  modern  linguists.  Now  I  am  very  sure  that  all  these 
points  shall  ultimately  be  determined,  and  it  is  because  we  have 
the  materials  in  our  hands  as  others  have  not  for  their  determina- 
tion, that  I  would  earnestly  urge  upon  this  and  the  other  federated 
societies  the  propriety  of  devoting  their  main  strength  to  the 
cultivation  of  the  language  itself  in  the  wide  view  that  I  have 
indicated.  As  to  the  mode  of  doing  this  I  would  be  far  from 
recommending  anything  that  might  seem  repressive  or  restric- 
tive. The  division  of  labour  is  now  acknowledged  in  every 
department  of  enquiry.  Every  man  gets  on  best  when  he  is  per- 
mitted to  choose  the  line  for  which  he  has  special  aptitude.  By 
all  means  let  your  gifted  and  versatile  member,  "  Xether  Lochaber," 


Annual  Dinner.  53 

continue  to  lead  his  detachment,  as  he  has  done  to  such  good  pur- 
pose, in  the  line  of  proverb  and  poetry.  And  let  Mr  Ferguson  con- 
tinue his  investigation  into  the  terras  of  natural  history,  taking  up 
animal  and  vegetable  life,  and  others  equally  capable  and  earnest  in 
their  own  departments.  But  I  feel  confident  that  there  are  in  all 
the  societies  young  members  possessed  of  linguistic  faculty,  and 
eager  for  its  cultivation,  and  let  me  assure  them,  as  the  result  of  long 
and  arduous  study  in  this  same  field,  that  acquaintance  with  the 
Celtic  dialects,  earlier  and  later,  is  of  inestimable  value  as  the  basis 
of  Aryan  philology.  Finally,  there  are  three  lines  of  operation 
which  I  can  only  mention.  (1.)  L>y  a  cautious  etymology  to  resolve 
compound  words  into  their  component  parts,  and  having  obtained 
their  simplest  vocable  or  root  words,  then  endeavour  to  determine 
their  original  forms.  Yes,  there  is  no  greater  mistake  than  to 
imagine  that  Gaelic  is  now  as  it  once  was.  It  has  undergone 
immense  changes,  so  that  three  steps  of  abrasions  are  clearly  trace- 
able. (2.)  Once  having  determined  these  simple  roots  and  their 
primeval  forms,  you  are  in  a  condition  to  prove  by  evidence  that 
cannot  be  controverted,  the  title  of  our  venerable  Gaelic  to  rank 
as  the  oldest  member  of  all  the  Aryan  tongues.  (3.)  Then 
you  can  turn  to  the  record  of  Topography,  and  may  behold  in  every 
country  in  Europe,  and  in  by  far  the  greatest  portion  of  Asia,  in 
thousands  and  tens  of  thousands  of  expressions,  the  indelible  proof 
of  primeval  occupancy  by  a  Gaelic  speaking  race.  I  speak 
advisedly  when  I  say  that  "  Bad "  (locality) ;  "  Bagh "  (bay) ; 
"  Baile  "  (town)  ;  "  Gala  "  (harbour) ;  "  Ceann  "  (head) ;  "Dail" 
(dale) ;  "  Dun  "  (town),  and  numbers  besides  are  as  rife  in  Asia  as 
in  our  own  country.  I  have  great  pleasure  in  proposing  "The 
Federation  of  Celtic  Societies,"  coupling  the  toast  with  the  name  of 
Mr  Colin  Chisholm. 

Mr.  Colin  Chisholm,  in  responding,  said  that  had  there  been 
such  a  combination  of  men  of  knowledge  and  of  intellect  inaugu- 
rated at  the  beginning  of  the  present  century  certain  portions  of 
the  Highlands  could  not  be  such  miserable  wrecks  as  they  now 
are,  without  men,  means,  or  enterprise.  And  he  earnestly  hoped 
that  this  organization,  of  hitherto  detached  forces,  would,  with  hope, 
intelligence,  and  courage,  lead  the  various  Highland  societies  onward 
in  the  gieat  work  of  social  and  physical  improvement,  so  much 
needed  in  the  land.  Mr.  Chisholm  concluded  amidst  great  applause 
with  the  following  new  Gaelic  song  in  honour  of  the  chairman  ;— 


54  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 


CHORUS — Gu'm  bu  slan  do  clheadh  Shir  Coinneach, 
Sheas  e  'choinneainh  mar  .a  b'  abhaist, 
Cridheil,  uasal,  eolach,  cliuiteach, 

Mar  cheann-iuil  do  Chlann  nan  Gaidheal. 


Ochd  c<md  deug,  naoi  deug  's  tri  fichead, 
Sin  a'  bbliadhna  's  math  leinu  aireamh, 
Fhuair  sinn  urram  bho  Shir  Coinneach, 

'JS"  gaisgeach  foinnidh  's  Triath  air  Ghearrloch. 
Gu'm  bu  slan,  &c. 

luchair-ghliocais  an  taobh  tuath  so, 
Gu'm  a  buan  an  t-urram  dhasa, 
Ceann  na  ceille,  steidh  nam  buadhan — 
Deadh  Shir  Coinneach  nasal  Ghearrloch. 
Gu'm  bu  slan,  &c. 

Cha'n  'eil  Goill  aige  dha  'n  arach, 
'S  iad  na  Gaidheil  fhein  bu  chinntich, 
Sheas  iad  cruadalach  ro  dhileas 

Le  craobh-shinnsridh  Oighre  Ghearrloch. 
Gum  bu  slan,  &c. 

Tha  gach  tighearn'  a's  duiu'-uasal, 
'S  an  taobh  tuath  gu  leir  ag  ratainn, 
Nach  eil  uachdaran  cho  buadhach 
Ei  Sir  Coinneach  uasal  Ghearrloch. 
Gu'm  bu  slan,  &c. 

Tha  gach  oganach  's  gach  buachaill, 
Tha  gach  tuathanach  's  gach  armunn, 
Deas  gu  eiridh,  ealamh,  uallach, 

Mar  bu  dual  do  mhuinntir  Ghearrloch. 
Gu'm  bu  slan,&c. 

'S  mairg  a  dhuisgeadh  anns  an  uair  sin 
Aobhar  gruaim  no  culaidh  thaire  ; 
'S  grad  a  chiosaichte  gach  fuathas 

Le  Clann  Eachainn  Euaidh  a  Ghearrloch. 
Gu'm  bu  slan,  &c. 


A  nnual  Dinner.  55 

Fhad  'sa  ruitheas  uisg  a  fuaran, 
Fhad  'sa  ghluaiseas  tonn  air  saile, 
Gus  an  traigh  na  h-eoin  na  cuaintean, 

Gu'n  robh  buaidh  air  teaghlach  Ghearrloch  ! 
Gu'm  bu  slan,  &c. 

The  next  toast  was  "  The  Provost,  Magistrates,  and  Town 
Council  of  Inverness,"  proposed  by  Mr.  Ross,  architect,  and  re- 
sponded to  by  Bailie  Noble  in  the  absence  of  the  Provost,  who 
had  been  called  away. 

Mr.  Jolly  looked  upon  it  as  a  compliment  to  have  been  asked 
to  propose  the  toast  of  "  The  Non-resident  Members,"  for  it  showed 
that  they  considered  him,  though  no  Highlander  in  blood,  one  in 
Highland  sentiment  and  feeling.  He  classed  the  Non-resident 
Members  as  expatriated  Highlanders  who  carried  with  them  an 
ardent  love  of  their  country,  and  who  had  laboured  for  the  good 
and  credit  of  their  country  and  race — men  like  the  chief  of  the 
Society  ;  and  (2)  men  of  other  nationalities,  who,  like  himself  (Mr. 
J.),  had  a  strong  admiration  for  the  Celtic  character,  and  desired 
the  real  good  of  the  race.  The  Highlandman  was  always  proud  and 
happy  to  cherish  his  native  sympathies  and  to  carry  a  true  High- 
land heart  even  under  the  burning  tropics,  and,  though  born  abroad, 
still  to  feel  the  nobler  and  braver  that  his  fathers  had  planted  their 
feet  on  their  native  heather,  and  in  many  a  noble  story  had  borne  a 
noble  part.  Who  had  helped  most  earnestly  and  most  substantially 
their  successful  founding  of  the  Celtic  Chair,  under  their  late  chief, 
Professor  Blackie1?  The  non-resident  Highlanders.  Who  desired 
the  regeneration  of  the  Highland  people,  and  the  development  in 
them  of  true  self-dependence,  true  self-respect,  and  true  self-asser- 
tion ]  The  non-resident  Highlanders.  Who,  in  short,  were  their 
truest  friends  in  heart,  hand,  and  pocket  in  all  their  best  endeav- 
ours as  Highland  men  1  These  same  distant  friends,  distant  only  in 
space,  not  in  spirit.  There  was  something  especially  ardent  in  the 
love  of  an  absent  mountaineer  for  his  native  glens.  Many  things 
contributed  to  produce  higher  devotion,  and  not  least  the  rare  beauty 
of  the  land  itself.  But  the  second  class  of  non-resident  members 
deserved  to  be  specially  remembered  on  such  an  occasion,  the  non- 
Highland  members  of  the  Society.  They  were  one  great  element 
of  their  strength,  a  worthy  strong  right  arm.  It  was  the  best  proof 
of  the  righteousness  of  their  position  and  demands  that  they  had 
so  many  non-Highland  members,  willing  and  able  to  sympathise 
with  and  help  them.  That  showed  that  the  work  in  which  they 
were  engaged  was  not  merely  sectional,  but  national,  and  that  the 


•r>0  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

country  was  becoming  alive  to  the  importance  of  the  questions 
which  their  Society  represented.  The  Highlanders  required,  and 
were  beginning  to  realise  the  importance  of  self-help,  to  cherish  a 
spirit  of  self-dependence,  to  look  into  the  riches  of  their  own  tongue, 
and  to  use  it  for  the  best  advantage ;  to  investigate  the  conditions 
of  their  whole  well-being,  and  to  endeavour  so  to  act  as  to  make 
themselves  independent  and  happy  amidst  their  beautiful  glens  and 
bens. 

Captain  Scobie  briefly  acknowledged  the  toast. 

The  other  toasts  were  The  Clergy,  by  Mr.  Donald  Campbell,  and 
acknowledged  by  the  Eev.  Mr.  Macgregor ;  The  Press,  by  Bailie 
Noble  ;  The  Chairman,  who  was  pledged  with  Highland  honours 
and  great  cheering,  by  Mr.  Walter  Carruthers  ;  and  The  Croupiers, 
by  Mr.  John  Macdonald,  Buckie. 

In  course  of  the  evening  songs  were  given  by  Mr.  Mackay  of 
Ben  Eeay,  Mr.  John  Whyte,  Mr.  W.  G.  Stuart,  and  Mr.  Jolly. 
Altogether  the  dinner  was  a  great  success. 

29m  JANUARY,  1879. 

At  this  meeting  the  thanks  of  the  Society  were  awarded  to  Sir 
Kenneth  S.  Mackenzie,  for  the  manner  in  which  he  presided  at  the 
last  Annual  Dinner  of  the  Society  ;  and  the  office-bearers  for  the 
year  were  then  nominated. 

5TH  FEBRUARY,  1879. 

The  office-bearers  for  the  year  were  elected  at  the  meeting  on 
this  date.  Their  names  will  be  found  on  another  page. 

12iH  FEBRUARY,  1879. 

Some  routine  business  having  been  transacted,  Mr.  Colin 
Chisholm,  Namur  Cottage,  Inverness,  read  the  following  paper  on 

THE  MONKS  OF  IONA. 

History  records  that  St.  Columba,  the  pious  founder  of  the 
Monks  of  lona,  was  born  at  Gartlan,  in  Donegal,  in  the  year  of  our 
Lord  521.  It  is  stated  that  he  was  of  royal  pedigree,  both  by  pa- 
ternal and  maternal  descent.  His  father  was  one  of  the  eight  sons 
of  O'Neil  of  the  nine  hostages,  supreme  monarch  of  all  Ireland,  and 
his  mother  was  a  daughter  of  the  Royal  House  of  Leinster.  Ac- 
cording to  some  Irish  writers,  his  proper  name  was  Corinthian,  but 


The  Monks  of  fona.  57 

was  called  by  his  companions  Columan,  or  Dove.  From  his  attach- 
ment to  the  church  he  was  also  called  Colum-Cille,  or  Columb  of 
the  Church.  At  an  early  age  he  was  placed  under  the  care  of  a 
holy  priest.  His  biographer,  Adamnan,  the  6th  Abbot  of  lona, 
tells  us  that  he  afterwards  resided  with  the  saintly  Bishop  Finnian, 
at  Moville,  County  Down.  St.  Columba  went  from  the  north  to 
the  south  of  Ireland,  and  took  up  his  residence  at  Cluanard  College, 
in  Leinster,  which  was  resorted  to  by  the  most  eminent  sages  and 
divines  of  the  day.  In  due  time  he  was  ordained  priest,  and  began 
his  labour  with  apostolic  zeal.  In  his  twenty-fifth  year  of  age,  he 
founded  the  monastery  of  Derry,  and  in  the  year  553  that  of 
Durrow.  O'Curry,  the  late  eminent  Celtic  scholar,  in  his  Lectures 
on  the  Manuscript-Materials  of  Ancient  Irish  History,  says,  that 
the  eight  great  races  of  Ireland  are  O'Neill  and  O'Donnell  in  the 
north,  O'Brien  and  M'Carthy  in  the  south,  O'Moore  and  O'Byrne  in 
the  east,  and  O'Connor  and  O'Eourke  in  the  west. 

This  union  of  noble  races,  combined  with  piety  and  education, 
gave  St.  Columba  extensive  influence.  Usher  and  O'Donnell  state 
that  he  founded  more  than  one  hundred  monastries  before  his  de- 
parture from  Ireland.  We  have  it  on  the  authority  of  Adamnan 
that  St  Columba  was  in  the  vigour  of  manhood,  being  42  years  of 
age,  when  he  established  himself  in  lona.  All  testimonies  agree  in 
celebrating  his  personal  beauty.  His  height,  his  voice,  and  his 
cordiality  were  very  remarkable.  Venerable  Bede  thus  writes:  — 
"  Columba  came  into  Britain  in  the  ninth  year  of  the  reign  of 
Bridius,  who  was  the  son  of  Meilochon,  and  the  powerful  king  of 
the  Pictish  nation,  and  he  converted  that  nation  to  the  faith  of 
Christ  by  his  preaching  and  example  ;  whereupon,  he  also  received 
the  aforesaid  island  for  a  monastery.  His  successors  hold  the 
island  to  this  day."  Eitson,  in  his  Annals  of  the  Caledonians,  says 
that  "  Conal  MacConguil,  King  of  the  Scots,  was  the  real  benefactor 
of  the  holy  man." 

The  late  Dr.  Norman  Macleod  (the  father  of  the  late  editor  of 
Good  Words)  tells  us,  in  his  eloquent  Gaelic  life  of  St.  Columba. 
that  Columba  left  Ireland  in  a  little  curach  in  the  year  of  our  Lord 
563,  accompanied  by  twelve  of  his  select  and  beloved  disciples. 
He  reached  that  lonely  island  behind  Mull,  which  is  called  from 
that  time  /  Challum  Chille.*  A  writer  in  the  London  Examiner, 
January  7th,  1871,  states  that  on  the  arrival  of  St.  Columba  at 
lona,  "  he  set  himself  to  establish,  on  the  double  basis  of  intellec- 
tual and  manual  labour,  the  new  community  which  was  henceforth 

*  Vide  "  Leabhar  nan  cnoc,"  p.  43-53, 


o8  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

to  be  the  centre  of  his  activity."  How  far  he  succeeded  in  his 
gigantic  undertaking  will  be  seen  by  another  extract  I  translated 
from  the  polished  Gaelic  of  Dr.  M'Leod.  After  dwelling  with  evi- 
dent sympathy  on  the  difficulties  St.  Columba  encountered  among 
the  Druids  and  their  uncivilized  Caledonian  followers,  the  Doctor  says 
— "  The  country  itself  was  at  that  time  like  a  vast  wilderness,  with- 
out way  or  safe  roads  through  the  thick  dark  woods,  the  hills  exten- 
sive and  full  of  wild  beasts.  But  in  spite  of  all  this,  he  parsevered, 
and  that  in  a  measure  miraculous.  During  thirty-four  years  he 
worked  hard  founding  churches,  and  spreading  the  Gospel  of 
Christ.  In  his  own  time  he  saw  the  Druidic  religion  condemned, 
and  the  kingdom  of  Scotland  converted  to  the  religion  of  the 
Gospel."  The  Doctor  states  that  St.  Columba  established  three 
hundred  churches  in  his  day,  and  that  he  founded  one  hundred 
monasteries. 

We  are  told  that  the  small  curach,  or  coracle,  in  which  St. 
Columba  and  his  twelve  companions  came  from  Ireland,  was  built 
of  wicker-work,  covered  with  hide.  It  appears  that  the  Celtic 
nations  navigated  their  stormy  seas  with  such  flotilla.  In  the 
frail  skiffs  of  that  period,  St.  Columba  and  his  Monks  sailed  from 
island  to  island  through  the  Hebrides,  and  thus  they  discovered 
St.  Kilda,  the  Faroe  Islands,  and  even  reached  Iceland.  Not  only 
did  they  spread  Christianity  through  the  islands,  but  through  the 
inlands  of  Caledonia,  carrying  truth,  light,  and  religion  to  the  re- 
motest glens  and  valleys  of  the  Highlands  and  Lowlands  also.  We 
have  the  testimony  of  our  earliest  writers  bearing  us  out  in  this  be- 
lief. We  have  also  the  strongest  collateral  evidence  in  support  of 
it;  and  let  me  now  direct  your  attention  to  a  few  places— south, 
north,  east,  and  west — where  the  Monks  of  lona  and  their  disciples 
planted  religion,  and  dedicated  their  churches  and  chapels  to  Saints, 
of  unmistakable  Celtic  names. 

County  or  Town.  Name  of  Church. 

Berwickshire Cill  or  Eaglais — founded  by  Gospatrick. 

Do.          ...Cill-Lauran. 

Peeblesshire Cill-Bothoc,  or  Beathoc. 

Do Cill    or    Gill    Moriston    (changed    in    1189   to 

Eddleston). 

Ayrshire Cill-Bride. 

Do Cill-Ninian. 

Dumfriesshire Gill-Michael,  in  the  town  of  Dumfries. 

Do.          Eccles-Fechan. 

Wigtonshire Cill-Cholm. 


The  Monks  of  lona.  59 

County  or  Town.  Name  of  Church. 

Linlithgowshire...Cill  or  Eaglais-Machan. 

Do.            ...Gill  or  Dailmanich,  or  Delmenie. 
Dumbartonshire. .  .Gill-Patrick. 
Renfrewshire Cill-Barchan. 

Do Cill-Fillan. 

Do Cill-Chalum. 

Stirlingshire Gill-Earn. 

Do.         Cill-Nin|m  (Bannockburn). 

Haddingtonshire...  Gill-Lady  (now  Glade's  Muir  Church). 

Kirkcudbright Cill-Eren. 

Perthshire  Cill-Chonan  or  Fortingal. 

Do .....Cill-Fhinn. 

Do Cill-Madoc. 

Forf  arshire Cill-Causnan. 

Edinburgh Cill-Ghiles,  i.  e. ,  Ghille  lona. 

Fife Cill-Chonnchar. 

Do Cill-Eaymont. 

Do Cill-Reuny. 

Aberdeenshire Cill-Bartha. 

Do Cill-Adaninan.     In  the  Ellon  district,  and  dedi- 
cated in  the  7th  century. 
Sutherland Gill-Earn. 

Do Cill-Donnan. 

Do Cill-Pheadar,  in  Clyne. 

Do Cill-Chalum-Chill,  Clyne. 

Ross-shire Gill-Martin. 

Do Cill-Donnan. 

Do Cill-Earnan. 

Do Cill-Fhillan,   ),    ,,    .    v-   .  ., 

mi  TT-  *          f  ooth  m  Kintail. 
Do Cill-Uistean,  j 

Inverness Cill-Colm,  Petty.    The  Earl  of  Moray  has  also  the 

title  of  Lord  of  St.  Colm,  from  a  small  island 
on  the  coast  of  Fife. 

Do Cill-Beathan,  Strathglass. 

Do Cill-Uradan,         do. 

Do Gill-Finnan,  Glengarry. 

Do Cill-Donnan ,  also  in  Glengarry. 

Do Cill-Barr,  or  Barra  Isle. 

Do GUI-Michael,         do. 

Argyleshire Cill-Chalum,  in  Lorn. 

Do Cill-Finan. 

Do Cill-Choinich,  or  Kenneth. 


<><>  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

County  or  Town.  Name  of  Church. 

Argyleshire Cill-Chiaran  (Campbletown). 

Do Cill-Oran,  in  Colonsy  Island. 

Kincardiuesliire . . .  Cill-Lauvan.  The  birthplace  of  John  De  Fordun, 
author  of  the  Scoto-Cltronicon.  This  parish  is 
also  celebrated  for  having  been  the  residence, 
and  probably  the  burial  place  of  St.  Palladius, 
sent  to  Scotland  by  Pope  Celestine,  in  431. 
St.  Palladius  was  the  first  bishop  sent  to 

Scotland. 

i 

Having  taken  you  in  imagination  on  a  rapid  pilgrimage  to  view, 
if  not  to  pray  with  me  at,  the  shrines  of  Celtic  Saints  in  every  quar- 
ter and  portion  of  our  native  country,  is  it  too  much,  to  expect  you 
to  endorse  with  me  the  honest  statement  of  Dr.  M'Leod  1 

We  have  seen  how  the  surface  of  Scotland  has  been  studded 
with  churches  dedicated  to  saints  of  Celtic  names  ;  but  the  sceptic 
will  exchiim,  "  You  North  Britons  are  so  very  clannish,  that  noth- 
ing less  than  national  saints  will  satisfy  you."  My  answer  to  any 
such  charge  is  that  there  are  more  names  of  Roman  saints  on  the 
Scottish  Catholic  Kalendar  than  on  the  Kalendar  of  any  country  of 
its  size  in  Europe. 

The  Order  of  St.  Columba  was  one  of  the  most  extensive,  for 
it  had  a  hundred  monasteries  and  abbeys  belonging  to  it  in  the 
British  islands.  The  principal  house  or  head  of  the  Order  was  at 
lona.  It  was  in  this  lonely  island  that  St.  Columba,  who  was  a 
priest  and  monk  only,  received  the  homage  of  mitred  bishops  and 
crowned  monarchs. 

In  the  time  of  Venerable  Bede,  about  the  year  731,  all  the 
bishops  of  the  Picts  were  subject  to  the  jurisdiction  of  the  priest 
that  was  Abbot  of  lona.  Kings  sought  advice,  and  received  both 
counsel  and  consolation  from  St.  Columba.  Fierce  warriors,  bitter 
enemies,  proud  and  haughty  chieftains,  were  reconciled,  and  ab- 
solved on  bended  knee  before  him.  Feuds  and  contentions  were 
abandoned  and  obliterated  before  St.  Columba.  In  his  presence 
mutual  friendship  and  goodwill  were  entered  on,  and  sealed  by  oath 
on  three  stones.  As  these  stones  correspond  in  number  with  the 
three  Divine  persons  of  the  blessed  Trinity,  it  is  possible  that  St. 
Columba  might  have  pointed  them  out,  or  even  used  them  in  some 
religious  sense,  so  as  to  make  a  lasting  impression  on  the  minds  of 
the  newly  reconciled  parties,  and  incline  them,  for  the  rest  of  their 
lives,  to  recoil  with  horror  from  participating  in  the  acts  of  belli- 
gerents. History  and  legend  seem  to  be  mutually  silent  on  this 


The  Monks  of  lona.  61 

point ;  therefore,  let  this  view  of  swearing  on  the   "  Three  black 
stones  of  lona,"  be  received  for  what  it  is  worth. 

Thus  we  find  St.  Coluinba  had  the  power  of  binding  the  hands 
and  the  hearts  of  the  most  determined  enemies.  He  exercised  his 
power  in  preventing  wars,  and  in  pacifying  all  manner  of  human 
turbulence.  We  find  the  kings,  the  courts,  and  the  people  of  the 
surrounding  nations  had  reposed  unbounded  confidence  in  him. 
Yet  in  the  very  midst  of  this,  much  more  than  regal  power  could 
bestow,  we  find  that  his  palace  was  a  hut,  built  of  planks,  and  there 
up  to  an  advanced  age,  he  slept  upon  the  hard  floor,  only  with  a  stone 
for  a  pillow.  Thither  he  returned  after  performing  his  share  of  out- 
door labour  with  the  other  monks,  and  there  he  patiently  transcribed 
the  sacred  text  of  Scripture.  When  he  had  come  to  the  thirty- 
third  Psalm,  he  stopped  and  said,  "  Baithean  will  write  the  rest." 
On  the  next  morning  he  hastened  before  the  other  monks  to  the 
church,  and  knelt  before  the  altar,  and  there  he  died,  in  the  arms  of 
Diarmad,  blessing  all  his  disciples,  on  the  9th  day  of-  June,  597. 

"  To  us,"  says  Montalembert, ' '  looking  back,  he  appears  a  person 
as  singular  as  he  is  loveable,  in  whom,  through  all  the  mists  of  the 
past,  and  all  the  cross  lights  of  legend,  the  man  may  be  still  recog- 
nised under  the  Saint."  "  For  two  centuries/'  says  Dr.  S.  M'Corry, 
"  after  his  death,  lona  was  the  most  venerated  sanctuary  of  the 
Celts,  the  nursery  of  bishops,  and  the  centre  of  learning  and  reli- 
gious knowledge.  Seventy  kings  or  princes  were  brought  to  lona,  to 
be  buried  at  the  feet  of  St.  Columba,  faithful  to  a  traditional  custom, 
the  remembrance  of  which  has  been  preserved  by  Shakespeare  : — 

'  Where  is  Duncan's  body  1 ' 
asks  Rose,  in  Macbeth.     Macduff  replies — 
'  Carried  to  Colme's  Kill,  the 
Sacred  storehouse  of  his  predecessors, 
And  guardian  of  their  bones.'  " 

A  kindred  expression  of  thought  has  been  placed  on  record  by 
the  bi-linguist  poet,  Evan  MacColl,  formerly  of  Lochfineside,  but 
latterly  tuning  his  lyre  to  the  rustling  of  the  "  Green  Maple  Tree  " 
in  Canada.     In  one  of  his  plaintive  Odes  to  lona,  MacColl  says  : — 
"  Sacred  Isle  of  lona, 
Where  saints  and  heroes 
Live  in  stone." 

It  is  admitted  by  critics  that  Dr.  Johnson  wrote  one  of  the 
finest  pieces  in  the  English  language  on  lona.  Wordsworth,  and  a 
host  of  master-minds,  wrote  on  lona. 

"  The  distinguished  archaeologist,"  says  Dr.  Stewart  M'Corry, 


62  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

"  Dr.  Keeves,  who,  although  not  a  catholic,  has  proved  his  honesty 
of  purpose  by  editing  so  well  '  Adamnan's  Life  of  St.  Columba,' 
has  given  us  in  his  '  Chronicon  Hyenese'  the  detailed  chronology  of 
the  forty -nine  successors  of  St.  Columba  from  597  to  1219.  We 
have  it  on  the  best  possible  authority  that  the  first  eleven  abbots  of 
lona  after  St.  Columba  proceeded,  with  the  exception  of  one  indi- 
vidual, from  the  same  stock  as  himself — from  the  race  of  Tirconnel, 
and  were  all  descended  from  the  same  son  of  Neall  of  the  nine 
hostages,  the  famous  king  of  all  Ireland." 

I  will  now  make  a  few  remarks  about  St.  Baithean.  He  was 
steward  of  lona,  and  succeeded  St.  Columba  as  Abbot  of  lona.  It 
is  stated  that  Baithean  consecrated  the  burying-ground  of  my  na- 
tive valley,  Strathglass.  Be  that  as  it  may,  it  is  quite  certain  that 
the  cill  or  clachan  in  Strathglass  is  dedicated  to  St.  Baithean.  There 
is  a  small  green  mound  close  to  the  cill  or  clachan  called  Cnoc 
Bhaithean,  at  the  foot  of  which  gushes  out  a  spring  of  the  clearest 
and  coldest  water,  also  called  Fuaran  Bhaithean.  The  legend 
relaters  of  the  district  state  that  a  clodhopper  began  to  cut  rinds  for 
thatch  on  the  brow  of  Cnoc  Bhaithean.  A  well-meaning  neighbour 
reminded  him  that  the  mound  was  considered  sacred,  as  bearing  the 
name  of  Cnoc  Bhaithean.  The  scornful  and  contumelious  reply 
the  neighbour  received  from  the  insolent  clodhopper  was — "  0, 
Baithean  maol  carrach  bhuaininn  foid  eadar  a  bhial  's  a  shroin."  Ann 
am  priobadh  an  roisg,  thuit  an  duine  truagh,  iuar  marbh  thairis  air 
crasg  a  chaibe-lair  a  bha  na  lamhan  fhein.  The  English  equiva- 
lent of  the  reply,  and  the  immediate  result  thereof,  may  be  taken  as 
the  following — "  0,  Bald  scald-headed  Baithean,  I  would  cut  a  sod 
between  his  mouth  and  his  nose."  In  the  twinkling  of  an  eye,  the 
miserable  man  fell  lifeless  over  the  cross-handles  of  the  rind-spade 
he  had  in  his  own  hands.  The  sceptic  will  exclaim,  who  cares  for 
misty  legends  !  The  Kev.  Dr.  Steward  M'Corry  tells  us  that  Mil- 
man,  in  his  Latin  Christianity,  Vol.  L,  p.  415,  writes — "History, 
to  be  true,  must  condescend  to  speak  the  language  of  legend." 

Nicholas  Carlisle  is  answerable  for  the  appearance  of  the  following 
statement  regarding  lona  in  his  "  Topographical  Dictionary  of  Scot- 
land," London,  1813 — "  The  Chapel  of  the  Nunnery  is  now  used  by 
the  inhabitants  as  a  kind  of  general  cow-house,  and  the  bottom  is 
consequently  too  miry  for  examination.  Some  of  the  stones  which 
covered  the  later  Abbesses  have  inscriptions,  which  might  yet  be 
read  if  the  Chapel  were  cleaned.  The  Cemetery  of  the  Nunnery 
was,  till  very  lately,  regarded  with  such  reverence  that  only  women 
were  buried  in  it.  Besides  the  two  principal  churches,  there  are,  T 
think,  five  chapels  yet  standing,  and  three  more  remembered." 


The  Monks  oflona.  63 

Carlisle  continues  the  sickening  narrative,  and  states  that  "  the  wood 
forming  the  roof  of  the  churches  and  chapels  in  lona,  was  the  first 
plunder  of  needy  rapacity."  For  the  honour  of  our  country  I  wish 
we  could  suppose  that  Mr.  Carlisle  had  been  misinformed  about 
the  unroofing  of  the  churches  and  chapels  in  lona. 

It  is  not  my  intention  to  lead  you  at  present  through  the  roof- 
less but  noble  ruins  of  the  cathedral  and  churches  of  lona,  the 
walls  of  which  have  been  described  in  a  leading  journal  as  "  riddled 
and  cracked  in  a  most  alarming  manner."  Neither  shall  we  be 
seen  along  with  tramping  tourist  and  brousing  cattle  defacing  the 
tombs,  and  disturbing  the  ashes  of  the  saintly,  princely,  and  heroic 
dead  in  the  consecrated  cemetery. 

In  the  Irish  annals  there  is  preserved  a  short  account  of  events 
in  lona,  carried  on  from  year  to  year.  Under  date  of  A.D.  794,  there  is 
this  entry — "  Devastation  of  all  the  islands  by  the  heathens."  From 
this  time  forward,  during  a  period  of  no  less  than  three  hundred 
years,  lona  was  frequently  ravaged,  its  churches  and  monasteries 
burnt,  and  its  brethren  murdered  by  the  savage  Northmen.  It  is 
stated  that  the  bones  of  St  Columba  were  carried  to  safer  places — 
to  Kells  in  Ireland,  and  to  Dunkeld  in  Scotland. 

lona  was  the  only  place  spared  by  Magnus,  King  of  Norway, 
in  his  predatory  expedition  of  A.D.  1098.  The  fierce  King  Magnus 
is  said  to  have  recoiled  with  awe  when  he  had  attempted  to  enter 
the  church  built  by  the  Saintly  English  Princess,  Queen  Margaret, 
wife  of  Malcolm  Ceanmore. 

The  recent  improvements  in  and  around  St.  Mungo's  Cathedral 
in  Glasgow  are  attributed  to  a  happy  remark,  vouchsafed  by  Her 
Majesty  Queen  Victoria,  on  Her  Majesty's  visit  to  that  cathedral 
during  the  Royal  Tour  through  the  West  Highlands.  Some  of  us 
had  fondly  expected  that  Her  Majesty  would  have  been  graciously 
pleased  to  extend  her  queenly  journey,  and  steer  her  royal  bark 
to  lona's  Isle.  Thus  we  flattered  ourselves  to  hear  that  Queen 
Victoria,  like  Queen  Margaret,  had  landed  on  the  hallowed  Isle  of 
lona. 

From  that  auspicious  moment  we  expected  to  have  heard  that 
an  edict  had  gone  forth  warning  the  elements,  saying  in  effect  this 
is  the  oldest  Christian  temple  in  Great  Britain.  The  work  of 
destruction  and  dilapidation  must  cease  instanter,  and  henceforth 
give  place  to  preservation  and  restoration. 

Sin  agaibh  brlgh  mo  sgeoil. 


64  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

19iH  FEBRUARY,  1879. 

At  the  meeting  on  this  date  the  principal  business  was  the 
reading  of  the  following  paper  by  Mr.  James  Barren,  of  the 
Inverness  Courier,  on 

THE  CELTIC   PKOVINCE  OF   MOEAY. 

The  history  of  the  Celtic  Province  of  Moray  takes  us  back  to  a 
remote  period,  on  which  the  light  is  dim  and  fitful.  All  that  any 
one  can  do  is  to  endeavour  to  ascertain  the  probable  nature  of  move- 
ments, the  details  of  which  are  obscure  and  to  most  modern  readers 
possessing  but  feeble  interest.  The  facts  in  the  following  paper  are 
mainly  derived  from  Mr.  Skene's  "  Celtic  Scotland,"  and  Mr. 
Anderson's  "  Orkneyinga  Saga,"  but  they  are  of  course  applied  to 
special  purposes,  and  made  the  basis  of  inferences  for  which  these 
authorities  are  not  responsible.  I  may  say  that  our  retrospect  in- 
cludes the  period  from  the  seventh  century  to  the  twelfth,  but 
before  entering  on  the  narrative  a  few  preliminary  observations  are 
necessary. 

In  the  first  place,  it  is  assumed  that  the  so-called  Picts  of  the 
early  centuries  of  our  era  were  Celts — the  ancestors  of  the  race 
that  still  inhabits  the  Scottish  Highlands.  Modern  inquiry  seems 
to  establish  this  beyond  reasonable  doubt.  Although  we  cannot 
enter  into  the  controversy,  it  may  be  pointed  out  that  a  king  of  the 
Picts  had  undoubtedly  a  royal  seat  at  Inverness  in  the  middle  of 
the  sixth  century ;  and,  when  a  few  centuries  later  the  district 
becomes  familiar  to  histor}r,  the  inhabitants  are  found  to  be  a 
purely  Celtic  people.  There  is  nothing  whatever  to  show  that  in 
the  interval  the  Gael  destroyed  and  supplanted  an  older  race ; 
while  on  the  contrary  there  is  a  good  deal  to  show  that  the  natives 
continued  to  carry  on  a  warfare,  varying  in  fortune,  but  on  the 
whole  fairly  successful,  first  with  Irish  immigrants,  then  with 
Angles  or  Saxons,  and  latterly  with  ferocious  Norsemen.  As  the 
territory  has  been  occupied  by  Celts  throughout  the  entire  period  of 
authentic  history,  it  would  require  very  clear  evidence  to  demon- 
strate that  the  Picts  and  Caledonians  of  the  immediately  preceding 
centuries  were  a  different  race.  To  clinch  the  argument,  Mr.  Skene 
furnishes  a  list  of  about  150  Pictish  words,  a  portion  of  which  are 
purely  Irish  or  Gaelic  in  their  forms,  while  the  rest  show  an  ad- 
mixture of  other  Celtic  tongues. 

The  Komans  finally  quitted  the  island  of  Britain  in  410,  and 
for  centuries  thereafter,  so  far  as  there  is  any  record  at  all,  the 


The  Celtic  Province  of  Moray.  65 

history  is  a  succession  of  struggles  either  between  native  tribes 
and  principalites,  or  between  Celts  and  Teutonic  assailants.  The 
purest  and  most  conservative  Celts  seem  to  have  been  the  in- 
habitants of  the  district  now  known  as  the  counties  of  Inverness 
and  Koss.  Viewed  on  a  large  scale,  the  history  of  the  Highlands 
is  the  history  of  Celtic  resistance  to  foreign  inroads  and  foreign 
usages.  Many  of  the  wars  waged  by  the  northern  Gael  against 
the  early  Scottish  kings  arose  from  the  devotion  of  the  people  to 
their  own  customs  and  laws  of  succession,  and  their  hatred  of 
practices  introduced  by  the  monarchs  under  English  and  Norman 
influences.  There  are  three  marked  periods  in  these  struggles. 
The  first  is  the  reign  of  William  the  Lion,  who  succeeded  after 
repeated  and  severe  efforts  in  quelling  the  spirit  of  the  north  ;  and 
the  decisive  battle  was  fought  in  1187,  while  the  headquarters  of 
the  king  were  established  at  Inverness.  The  discontent  and  turbu- 
lence of  the  middle  ages  received  a  decisive  check  by  the  memorable 
battle  of  Harlaw,  in  1411.  Once  again  the  Celts  had  another 
chance — in  the  conflict  between  the  Stuarts  and  their  Parliaments, 
and  the  revolution  which  placed  the  house  of  Hanover  on  the 
British  throne.  We  all  know  that  this  third  rising  ended  in  the 
disastrous  field  of  Culloden,  and  the  ravages  and  proscriptions  of 
Cumberland. 

In  rapidly  tracing  the  early  history,  it  is  necessary  to  remark 
that  we  regard  Inveiness  as  having  been  the  centre  of  the  native 
northern  state.  The  town  itself  was  probably  nothing  more  than  a 
cluster  of  huts,  and  perhaps  it  did  not  occupy  exactly  its  present 
site  ;  but  indications  are  not  wanting  that  in  this  neighbourhood 
there  existed  what  was  in  some  sort  a  native  capital  The  central 
situation  of  the  spot  supports  the  supposition,  and  the  abundant 
archaeological  remains  with  which  we  are  familiar,  are  not  without 
significance  in  the  same  connection.  But  further  we  know,  as  1 
have  said,  that  a  king  of  the  Picts  in  the  sixth  century  had  his 
residence  at  Inverness  ;  and  five  centuries  afterwards  Macbeth  had 
a  stronghold  here.  The  conqueror  of  Macbeth,  Malcolm  Canmore, 
is  said  to  have  erected  a  fortified  place  on  the  present  Castle  Hill : 
and  soon  after  his  day  the  Castle  of  Inverness  was  the  most  im- 
portant stronghold  in  the  northern  part  of  the  kingdom.  It 
is  clear  that  the  town,  which  became  a  royal  burgh  in  the  twelfth 
century,  was  not  then  a  new  creation.  Its  importance  was  only 
then  recognised  by  William  the  Lion,  and  it  had  previously  been 
mentioned  by  David  I.  as  one  of  the  local  capitals  of  the  realm. 
We  do  not  say  that  in  early  days  Inverness  was  a  populous  place  ; 
but  there  seems  little  reason  to  doubt  that  it  was  the  residence  of 

5 


66  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

leading  chiefs  or  princes,  and  in  all  probability  the  capital  of  Moray- 
land. 

After  the  departure  of  the  Romans,  a  century  and  a-half  elapsed 
of  which  little  is  really  known.  It  appears,  however,  that  about 
the  year  498  or  500,  a  colony  of  Scots  came  over  from  Ire- 
land and  settled  in  Kintyre.  These  Scots  were  Christians,  and  the 
northern  Picts  were  heathens  ;  but  in  563  Columba  arrived  at  lona, 
and  he  and  his  successors  converted  the  Picts  to  Christianity.  The 
visit  of  Columba  to  King  Brude,  at  his  palace  near  the  river  N"ess, 
does  not  enter  into  the  scope  of  the  present  paper.  What  then  is 
the  state  of  matters  which  we  find  existing  in  Scotland  in  the 
seventh  century  ?  We  find  four  kingdoms — three  of  which  are 
Celtic,  and  one  Teutonic.  The  largest  of  these  consisted  of  the 
Picts,  who  occupied  the  greater  part  of  the  territory  north  of  the 
Firth  of  Foith  ;  then  we  have  the  Scots,  who  occupied  the  greater 
part  of  what  is  now  Argyllshire  ;  then  the  Britons,  whose  territory 
extended  along  the  west  from  Clyde  to  Cumberland  ;  and,  lastly, 
the  Ai  gles,  who  held  the  east  coast  from  the  Forth  to  the  Humber. 
The  Picts,  though  nominally  united,  consisted  of  two  divisions — 
one  lying  to  the  north,  and  the  other  to  the  south  of  the  Grampians  ; 
or,  perhaps  more  exactly,  one  to  the  north,  and  the  other  to  the  east 
and  south  of  the  Spey.  Considering  the  nature  of  the  country  and 
the  tribal  character  of  Celtic  communities,  it  is  not  likely  that  the 
union  between  the  two  parts  was  ever  very  strong ;  but  they  seem 
at  times  to  have  recognised  the  same  sovereign,  and  the  feeling  of 
race  or  nationality  was  decided  enough  to  induce  them  to  combine 
against  a  common  enemy.  The  southern  Picts  were  subjected  to 
the  more  frequent  attacks,  and  they  were  more  liable  than  their 
northern  confederates  to  have  their  customs  gradually  broken  down 
by  contact  or  collision  with  aggressive  neighbours.  To  this  fact  is 
to  be  attributed  the  separation  which  ultimately  took  place  between 
the  two  sections  of  the  Pictish  race,  and  the  greater  tenacity  with 
which  our  northern  forefathers  clung  to  their  native  forms  of  law 
and  government. 

Uhe  order  of  royal  succession  among  the  Picts  is  acknowledged 
to  have  been  peculiar.  Brothers  might  succeed  one  another,  but 
failing  these,  the  relationship  was  reckoned  through  the  female  line. 
The  list  of  monarchs,  we  are  told,  "  does  not  present  a  single 
instance  of  a  son  directly  succeeding  his  father."  When  brothers 
failed,  the  throne  passed  to  the  sons  of  sisters,  or  to  the  nearest 
male  relation  on  the  female  side.  In  the  Scottish  kingdom  of 
Argyllshire  the  custom  was  different.  There  the  law  of  Tanistry  pre- 
vailed ;  that  is,  the  most  competent  male  member  of  the  royal  house 


The  Geltic  Province  of  Moray.  67 

was  chosen,  under  the  name  of  Tanist,  to  lead  the  armies  and  to  suc- 
ceed to  the  crown.  Latterly,  under  the  influence  of  the  Teutonic 
element,  the  succession  from  father  to  son  began  to  prevail  south  of 
the  Grampians,  and  the  resistance  to  this  innovation  led  to  frequent 
and  sanguinary  contests.  Here  again  it  may  he  desirahle  to  point 
out  that  the  northern  Celts  were,  as  we  should  expect,  the  last  to 
acquiesce  in  the  new  order  of  things. 

The  struggles  between  the  four  kingdoms  were  fierce  and  pro- 
tracted. The  Argyllshire  or  Dalriadic  Scots  maintained  a  long 
friendship  with  the  northern  Picts,  but  to  the  east  and  south  they, 
for  a  time,  carried  everything  before  them.  Their  conquering  career 
however  was  brought  to  a  close  in  642,  when  their  king,  Donald 
Breac,  was  slain  in  a  battle  with  the  Britons  of  Strathclyde.  Next 
the^Angles  obtained  supremacy,  extending  their  empire  over  Strath- 
clyde, Dalriada,  and  the  southern  Picts.  During  this  period  the 
northern  Picts,  sheltered  behind  the  Grampians,  retained  their 
independence.  The  tribes  of  the  north  selected  as  their  king  a 
scion  of  the  royal  house  named  Bredei,  who  is  recorded  to  have  laid 
siege,  in  680,  to  Dunbeath,  in  Caithness.  He  is  also  said  to  have 
laid  waste  the  Orkney  Islands,  and  turning  southwards  he  attempted, 
in  concert  with  the  Dalriadic  Scots,  to  make  head  against  Ecgi'rid, 
the  powerful  Anglican  King.  In  the  plains  of  the  Lowlands  he 
had  little  chance  of  success,  but  Ecgfrid  had  the  temerity  to  ad- 
vance northwards,  and  in  685  he  was  cut  off  with  his  army  in 
attempting  to  penetrate  the  mountain  chain  at  Dunnichen,  in 
Forfarshire.  Bredei  once  more  united  the  Picts,  but  the  connection 
between  south  and  north  appears  to  have  been  looser  than  ever. 
Religious  dissensions  helped  forward  separation.  The  Columbau 
Church  had  hitherto  been  independent  of  .Rome,  but  the  latter  was 
gradually  pushing  its  way  northward  from  England.  The  date  for 
the  observance  of  Easter  was  a  source  of  constant  dispute,  and  in 
710  King  Nectan  submitted  to  Rome  and  adopted  Latin  customs. 
Not  content  with  this,  he  expelled  the  Columban  clergy  from 
the  southern  districts,  where  his  authority  was  supreme,  and  the 
exiles  sought  refuge  among  the  Scots,  and  probably  also  in  the 
more  remote  districts  of  the  northern  Picts.  It  would  be  superfluous 
to  dwell  upon  this  ecclesiastical  quarrel  here  ;  we  merely  note  it  as 
another  of  the  forces  which  tended  to  break  up  the  unity  of  the 
Pictish  kingdom. 

Angus,  a  powerful  king  of  the  Picts,  who  reigned  from  731  to 
761,  conquered  the  Scots  and  turned  Dalriada  into  a  Pictish  pro- 
vince. Sometime  afterwards,  about  780,  there  occurred,  according 
to  Mr.  Skene,  the  first  distinct  breach  in  the  Pictish  law  of  sue- 


68  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

cession.  Through  contact  and  occasional  alliance  with  the  Saxons, 
the  southern  Picts  were  now  becoming  familiar  with  alien  practices, 
and  they  accordingly  chose  Talorgan,  the  son  of  Angus,  to  be  their 
sovereign,  while  the  northern  provinces  adhered  to  a  king  named 
Drest,  who,  we  may  presume,  was  according  to  their  law  the 
legitimate  monarch.  The  breach  appears  to  have  been  healed,  but 
soon  the  attacks  of  a  new  foe  distracted  the  weakly-compacted 
kingdom.  In  793  the  Norsemen  descended  upon  the  island  of 
Lindisfarne,  and  for  a  long  period  they  continued  periodically  to 
alarm  and  devastate  the  country.  Orkney  became  an  important 
seat  of  their  power ;  Caithness  became  the  patrimony  of  a  iX  orse 
earl.  Norse  vessels  carried  terror  along  the  west  coast  and  through- 
out the  western  islands,  where  fur  a  time  the  invaders  were  supreme. 
The  shores  of  the  Moiay  Firth  became  the  scene  of  frequent  visita- 
tions, and  indeed  all  parts  of  the  coast,  east  and  west,  suffered  from 
these  piratical  inroads.  During  the  period  of  confusion  and  anarchy 
which  occurred,  a  new  dynasty  established  itself  south  of  the 
Grampians.  Kenneth  Macalpin,  a  Dalriadic  Scot,  but  connected  in 
some  way  with  the  Pictish  royal  family,  made  good  his  claims  with 
the  sword.  In  844  he  became  firmly  seated  on  the  throne,  and 
founded  a  line  of  sovereigns  who  succeeded  one  another  according 
to  the  law  of  Tanistry.  But  Mr.  Skene  shows  that  their  power 
was  confined  at  first  to  the  provinces  of  the  southern  Picts,  and 
their  enemies  were  for  a  long  time  too  numerous  to  permit  any 
extension  of  their  sovereignty  over  the  northern  provinces. 

We  have  now  in  some  measure  disentangled  the  history  of  our 
northern  district,  and  may  continue  to  follow  more  closely  its  indi- 
vidual fortunes.  Our  position  is  that  from  the  first  the  union  be- 
tween the  northern  and  southern  Picts  was  but  a  slight  confederacy 
— that  from  the  nature  of  the  country  and  the  known  customs  of  Celtic 
tribes,  it  could  not  well  have  been  otherwise  ;  that  in  course  of  time 
the  connection  was  weakened  by  transformations  among  the  southern 
Picts ;  and  that  during  the  anarchy  in  the  middle  of  the  ninth  cen- 
tury, the  northern  district,  or  so  much  of  it  as  the  Norse  did  not 
actually  conquer,  became  virtually  independent  The  great  northern 
province  was  Moravia,  or  Moray,  which  seems  to  have  extended,  in 
its  widest  sense,  from  the  river  Spey  on  the  east,  to  the  watershed 
of  the  present  county  of  Eoss  on  the  west ;  and  from  Loch  Lochy 
on  the  south,  to  the  Kyle  of  Sutherland  on  the  north.  From  the 
few  indications  that  exist  it  is  natural  to  infer — we  should  say  it  is 
almost  certain — that  Inverness  was  the  capital  of  this  region.  The 
native  rulers,  styled  Maormors — sometimes,  indeed,  called  Kings — 
had  by  no  means  an  easy  position.  The  Norse  power,  which  had 


The  Ce/t/c  Province  of  Moray.  69 

established  its  footing  in  Caithness  and  Sutherland,  pressed  them 
on  the  one  side,  the  Scottish  Kings  on  the  other ;  and  the  recollec- 
tion of  this  simple  fact  will  help  to  clear  up  much  that  would 
otherwise  be  unintelligible  in  our  early  local  history.  We  may  be- 
lieve that  the  princes  of  Moray  and  their  people  cherished  an  al- 
most equal  dislike  to  their  northern  and  southern  foes.  The  one 
was  a  race  of  pirates,  the  other  of  degenerate  Celts  ;  and  the  prim- 
ary duty  of  the  Moraymen  was  to  preserve  their  own  independence 
and  the  purity  of  their  native  laws.  Unfortunately,  the  Maormor 
of  Moray  was  unable  to  cope  single-handed  either  with  the  Earl  of 
Caithness  and  Orkney,  or  with  the  King  of  Scotia.  In  times  of 
extremity  he  was  obliged  to  ally  himself  with  the  one  or  the  other, 
to  help  the  Norsemen  against  the  Scots,  or  the  Scots  against  the 
Norsemen.  The  sea-kings  with  their  swift  vessels  were  at  first  his 
most  dreaded  antagonists.  The  kings  of  Scotia  were  more  remote 
and  had  other  affairs  on  hand  ;  but  when  they  found  opportunity, 
they  were  not  slow  in  advancing  sovereign  claims  and  pushing  their 
arms  beyond  the  mountains.  It  was  only  after  long  resistance  that 
these  claims  were  made  good  by  the  superiority  of  the  southerns 
in  resources  and  armament.  We  shall  see  that  Macbeth,  the  most 
famous  Maormor  of  Moray,  had  no  scruple  in  ally  ing  himself  with  the 
Norsemen,  in  order  to  get  rid  of  King  Duncan,  and  effect  a  partition 
of  the  kingdom. 

The  first  Norse  leader  who  over-ran  Moray  was  Thorstein  the 
Ked  (875),  a  son  of  the  Norse  king  of  Dublin.  His  power,  how- 
ever, only  lasted  for  a  single  year ;  and  the  next  successful  invader 
was  Sigurd,  the  first  Earl  of  Orkney,  who  flourished  towards  the 
close  of  the  same  century.  He  over-ran  Caithness,  Sutherland, 
Ross,  and  Moray,  and  built  a  tower  at  a  spot  which  is  conjectured 
to  have  been  Burghead.  His  chief  antagonist  was  Maelbrigda  the 
Toothed,  Maormor  of  Moray.  Both  came  to  an  untimely  end. 
They  had  agreed  to  meet  in  conference,  each  with  a  guard  of  forty 
men,  but  Sigurd,  professing  to  be  afraid  of  treachery,  mounted 
eighty  men  on  forty  horses.  Maelbrigda  advancing  to  meet  him 
detected  the  deception,  and  at  once  resolved  to  fight,  exclaiming 
"  let  us  be  brave  and  kill  each  his  man  before  we  die."  At  Sigurd's 
command  half  his  men  dismounted  to  attack  the  enemy  in  rear ; 
and  the  Celtic  chief  and  all  his  party  being  overpowered  by  numbers 
were  slain.  Sigurd  and  his  followers  fastened  the  heads  of  their 
victims  to  their  saddle  straps  and  rode  away  in  triumph.  But  the 
feature  which  had  given  Mselbrigda  his  designation  was  the  means 
of  retribution.  In  kicking  at  his  horse,  Sigurd  scratched  his  leg 
with  the  protruding  tooth,  and  the  wound  proved  fatal.  The  body 


70  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness- 

of  the  Earl  was  buried  in  a  mound  at  a  place  called  Ekkialsbakki, 
the  site  of  which  is  uncertain.  B.ikki  meaning  bank,  Mr.  Ander- 
son indentih'es  the  name  with  the  river  Oykell  ("  Bank  of  the 
Oykell")  which  divides  the  counties  of  Eoss  and  Sutherland,  and 
falls  into  the  Dornoch  Firth.  The  exact  spot  he  considers  to  be 
Cyderhall,  a  name  which  is  a  corruption  of  Siddera,  that  in  its  turn 
being  a  contraction  for  Siwardhoch,  the  designation  given  to  the 
place  in  a  deed  of  the  thirteenth  cenlury.x  Mr.  Skene  takes  a 
different  view.  From  an  examination  of  the  narrative  he  arrives  at 
the  conclusion  that  the  meeting  between  Sigurd  and  Majlbrigda 
must  have  taken  place  near  the  southern  boundary  of  Moray.  He 
is  also  of  opinion  that  the  tight  occurred  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Forres,  and  that  the  remarkable  sculptured  stone  near  that  town  is 
a  record  of  it.  The  stone  appears  to  tell  the  tale  which  has  just 
been  narrated.  Among  the  representations  upon  it  is  a  leader  with 
a  head  hanging  at  his  girdle,  followed  by  three  trumpeters  sounding 
for  victory,  and  surrounded  by  decapitated  bodies  and  human  heads. 
Mr.  Skene  believes  Ekkialsbakki  to  mean  the  banks  of  the  Find- 
horn.  When  digging  into  a  mound  close  to  the  Forres  pillar,  in 
1813,  eight  human  skeletons  were  found,  and  in  1827  there  was  dug 
out  of  a  steep  bank  above  the  river  a  coffin  of  large  dimensions, 
composed  of  flagstones,  containing  the  remains  of  a  human  skeleton. 
Whatever  supremacy  Sigurd  may  have  established,  it  does  not 
seem  to  have  survived  his  death.  The  native  chiefs  of  Moray  re- 
sumed their  independence,  although  they  still,  no  doubt,  had  con- 
flicts to  sustain  with  the  great  and  aggressive  northern  power.  The 
southern  monarchy  was  also  ambitious  of  extending  its  sway.  It 
is  recorded  that  Malcolm  [942-954]  made  the  first  attempt  to  push 
the  power  of  the  kings  of  Scotia  beyond  the  Spey.  He  invaded  the 
province  of  Moray  and  slew  its  ruler,  Cellach,  but  does  not  appear 
to  have  made  a  conquest.  A  little  later  the  Scottish  kings  extended 
claims  to  Caithness,  but  their  dominion  there  was  at  first  even  more 
shadowy  than  in  Moray.  Such  pretensions  are  natural  to  an  aspir- 
ing central  monarchy,  and  in  the  end  generally  come  to  be  realised. 
Caithness  and  Orkney  were  not  always  under  the  same  earl.  After 
a  temporary  separation  they  were  re-united  by  the  marriage  of 
Thorfinn,  the  skull-cleaver,  with  the  daughter  of  Duncan,  jarl  of 
Caithness.  A  series  of  quarrels  occurred  among  their  sons,  which 
are  only  notable  in  so  far  as  that  one  of  the  claimants  received  the 
support  of  Magbiodr,  Maormor  of  Moray,  and  the  Kino;  of  Scotia. 
Their  assistance,  however,  was  unavailing.  The  brother  in  posses- 
sion triumphed;  and  soon  afteiwards  his  nephew,  a  second  Sigurd, 
who  entered  on?  the  earldom  about  the  year  980,  re-established  the 


The  Celtic  Province  of  Moray.  7 1 

supremacy  of  the  Norsemen  over  the  north  of  Scotland  and  the 
western  islands.  The  conquest,  of  course,  was  not  accomplished 
without  a  severe  struggle.  Finlay,  another  Maormor  of  Moray, 
brother  to  Magbiodr,  collected  a  large  force  and  entered  Caithness. 
At  first  Sigurd  was  unable  to  cope  with  him.  There  were  seven 
Scotsmen  for  one  Norwegian — odds  which  even  the  bold  Scandi- 
navian rovers  were  unable  to  face.  To  gain  assistance,  Sigurd  pro- 
pitiated the  Orkney  freeholders  by  restoring  lands  which  they  had 
resigned  to  his  greatgrandfather;  and  with  augmented  forces,  he 
attacked  the  Scots  and  completely  defeated  them.  The  mainland 
was  now  open  for  an  advance  ;  and  in  a  few  years  the  authority  of 
Sigurd  was  acknowledged  from  the  Pentland  to  the  Spey.  The 
King  of  Scotland  continued  the  struggle  with  great  spirit,  but  in 
the  end  the  rivals  came  to  terms  and  formed  an  alliance.  The 
friendship  was  cemented  by  the  marriage  of  the  Norse  chief  with  a 
daughter  of  Malcolm  II.  Sigurd,  born  a  heathen,  was  converted 
to  Christianity  by  a  peculiar  process.  Olaf  Tryggveson,  the  first 
Christian  King  of  Norway,  returning  from  an  expedition  in  997, 
seized  the  Earl  as  he  lay  under  the  island  of  Hoy  with  a  single 
ship.  Being  offered  the  choice  of  baptism  or  death,  Sigurd  chose 
to  declare  himself  a  convert,  and  became  nominally  a  subject  of  King 
Olaf.  Yet  seventeen  years  afterwards,  at  the  battle  of  Clontarff,  in 
Ireland,  we  find  him  fighting  in  the  ranks  of  the  heathen,  and  piling 
the  field  with  Christian  dead.  In  the  heat  of  the  contest  Sigurd 
was  cut  down  by  the  Irish  champion,  Murcadh,  and  his  fall  was  the 
signal  for  the  flight  of  the  Norwegians. 

We  now  approach  a  period  of  peculiar  interest  in  the  history  of 
Moray.  On  the  death  of  Sigurd,  the  province  resumed  its  old  posi- 
tion, and  its  Maormor,  Finlay,  is  described  in  the  Ulster  annals 
under  a  kingly  title,  indicating  that  he  claimed  to  be  independent 
of  both  his  neighbours.  In  1020  he  was  slain  by  his  nephews  ; 
but  he  was  succeeded  in  his  semi-sovereignty  by  his  son  Macbeth, 
whose  name  has  obtained  such  singular  prominence  in  history  and 
dramatic  literature.  In  1034,  King  Malcolm  of  Scotland  died, 
leaving  two  grandsons  who  were  destined  to  be  fierce  opponents. 
Duncan,  the  heir  to  the  throne,  was  the  son  of  a  princess  married 
to  Criuan,  abbot  of  Dunkeld  ;  while  Thorfinn,  Earl  of  Caithness 
and  Orkney,  was  the  offspring  of  another  daughter,  married,  as  we 
have  seen,  to  Earl  Sigurd.  Macbeth  was  in  a  difficult  position, 
placed  as  he  was  between  the  two  ambitious  cousins.  His  own  wife 
was  connected  with  the  Scottish  royal  house,  being  either  the  sister 
or  the  near  kinswoman  of  a  prince  whom  King  Duncan's  grand- 
father had  slain.  The  presumption  is  that  this  unfortunate  prince 


1*1  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

was,  according  to  the  custom  of  the  times,  a  dangerous  rival  to  the 
succession  of  Duncan.  Thus  Macbeth,  through  his  wife,  had  a  feud 
with  the  dynasty  which  circumstances  might  at  any  moment  quicken 
into  activity. 

Thorfinn,  Earl  of  Caithness,  was  a  man  of  energy  and  capacity, 
well-fitted  to  hold  his  own  in  those  wild  times.  He  was  only  five 
years  old  when  his  father  died,  and  at  fourteen  he  was,  a  leader  of 
maritime  expeditions,  ready,  as  his  bard  said,  "  to  defend  his  own 
land,  or  to  ravage  in  another's."  He  is  described  as  a  man  of  very 
large  stature,  uncomely,  sharp-featured,  dark  haired,  sallow,  and 
swarthy.  Avaricious,  harsh,  cruel,  and  clever;  greedy  of  wealth 
and  renown  ;  bold  and  successful  in  war,  and  a  great  strategist — 
such  are  the  epithets  in  which  his  character  and  powers  are  summed 
up.  Thorfinn  had  three  half-brothers  older  than  himself,  among 
whom  the  Orkneys  were  divided,  while  he  received  the  Earldom  of 
Caithness.  The  death  of  two  of  his  brothers,  and  an  alliance  with 
the  third,  put  him  in  possession  of  the  islands,  and  thus  he  became 
a  great  chief  like  his  father  Sigurd.  His  cousin  Duncan,  suspicious 
of  his  growing  power,  wished  to  dispossess  him  of  Caithness,  or  at 
least  to  lay  it  under  tribute.  Earl  Thorfinn  refused  to  part  with 
any  of  his  rights,  and  so  war  broke  out.  Duncan  nominated  a 
nephew  of  his  own,  named  Moddan,  to  be  Earl  of  Caithness,  and 
sent  him  down  to  collect  forces  in  Sutherland.  This  seems  to  have 
been  the  beginning  of  the  conflict  in  which  King  Duncan  was  to 
lose  kingdom  and  life. 

In  such  a  struggle  it  was  important  to  secure  the  assistance  of 
the  great  Maormor  of  Moray.  We  may  believe  that  Macbeth  aided 
Duncan  from  the  outset.  The  Norsemen  were  the  nearest  and  most 
bitter  foes  of  the  Moravian  Celts.  In  former  times  they  had  once 
and  again  overrun  the  province,  and  Macbeth,  like  King  Duncan, 
must  have  viewed  the  increasing  power  of  Thorfinn  with  great  dis- 
trust. If  Duncan  claimed  his  service  as  a  tributary  chief,  Macbeth 
probably  waived  such  questions  for  the  present,  in  order  to  deal 
with  his  dangerous  enemy  in  Caithness.  But  whatever  the  actual 
circumstances  were,  we  see  no  reason  to  doubt  that  the  Maormor  of 
Moray  was  an  ally  of  the  king,  and  thus  by  his  subsequent  conduct 
laid  himself  open  to  the  charge  of  treachery,  which  has  ever  been 
associated  with  his  name.  Without  having  a  base  of  operations  on 
the  south  side  of  the  Moray  Firth,  King  Duncan  could  scarcely 
have  carried  on  the  war  in  the  far  north.  The  precise  relation  of 
Sutherland  to  the  northern  rivals  seems  uncertain.  Very  probably 
the  people  of  that  district  detested  Norse  rule,  so  that  it  was  easy 
for  Moddan  to  obtain  support  among  them. 


The  Ce/tic  Province  of  Moray.  73 

Thorfinn  possessed  a  valuable  coadjutor  in  Thorkel  Fostri,  who 
is  described  as  the  most  accomplished  man  in  all  the  Orkneys.  He 
was  bold  and  capable ;  be  had  spoken  up  for  the  freeholders  against 
the  tyranny  of  a  former  Earl,  and  Mfelng  compelled  to  flee,  he  took 
up  his  residence  in  Caithness,  and  became  foster-father  to  Thorfinn, 
who  was  then  young.  It  was  mainly  through  this  man's  influence 
that  Thorfinn  gradually  extended  his  authority  over  the  Orkneys. 
When  the  dispute  occurred  between  the  Earl  and  his  royal  cousin, 
Thorkel  raised  a  strong  force  in  the  Orkney  islands,  and  crossed  to 
the  mainland,  and  Duncan's  vassal,  Moddan,  found  himself  obliged 
to  retire.  The  Norse  army  carried  its  victorious  arms  through 
Sutherland  and  Ross,  and  returned  with  great  plunder  to  Duncans- 
bay.  The  Scottish  King  determined  on  a  more  formidable  attack. 
Moddan  was  again  despatched  with  troops  to  Caithness,  while  the 
King  with  a  fleet  of  eleven  vessels  sailed  northwards  along  the 
coast.  Thorfinn  had  only  five  warships,  but  he  gave  battle  in  the 
Pentland  Filth,  and  inflicted  a  severe  defeat  upon,  his  opponent. 
Thorfinn  is  depicted,  of  course  by  friendly  chroniclers,  as  taking  an 
active  personal  part  in  the  fight,  cheering  on  his  men,  and  urging 
them  to  board  the  enemy's  ships.  He  grappled  with  the  royal 
vessel  itself,  and,  shouting  for  his  banner,  rushed  on  board.  King 
Duncan  escaped  by  jumping  into  another  boat,  and  hurrying  off  as 
fast  as  oars  could  carry  him.  The  spirited  description  of  the  tight 
by  Thorfinn's  bard  may  be  quoted  : — 

"  Then  the  ships  were  lashed  together — 
Know  ye  how  the  men  were  falling  ? 
All  their  swords  and  boards  were  swimming 
In  the  life-blood  of  the  Scotsmen  ; 
Hearts  were  sinking — bowstrings  screaming, 
Darts  were  flying — spear  shafts  bending ; 
Swords  were  biting,  blood  flowed  freely, 
And  the  Prince's  heart  was  merry." 

King  Duncan  escaped  to  the  coast  of  Moray,  and  hastened  south 
to  collect  a  fresh  army.  In  the  interval,  the  Xorse  enjoyed  rare  op- 
portunities for  plundering,  and  the  ambitious  Moddan — the  rival 
Earl  of  Caithness — came  to  an  untimely  end.  While  the  Norse- 
men were  ravaging  in  Moray,  they  heard  that  Moddan  had  estab- 
lished himself  with  a  large  anny  at  Thurso,  and  was  awaiting  more 
troops  from  Ireland.  The  ever-ready  Thorkel  Fostri  was  equal  to  the 
occasion.  He  marched  north  secretly,  we  are  told,  and  was  befriended 
by  the  inhabitants  of  Caithness,  who  were  true  and  faithful  to  him  ; 
"  and  no  news  went  of  his  journey,"  says  the  story,  "  till  he  came 


74  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

to  Thurso  by  night,  and  surprised  Earl  Moddan  in  a  house, 
which  they  set  on  tire.  Moddan  was  asleep  in  an  upper  storey, 
and  jumped  out ;  but  as  he  jumped  down  from  the  stair,  Thorkel 
hewed  at  him  with  a  sword,  and  it  hit  him  on  the  neck,  and  took 
off  his  head.  After  this  his  men  surrendered,  but  some  escaped 
by  flight.  Many  were  slain,  but  some  received  quarter."  After 
this  feat,  Thorkel  rejoined  his  chief  with  all  the  men  he  could  collect 
in  Sutherland,  Caithness,  and  Ross. 

Meantime  King  Duncan  hurried  north  with  a  powerful  army, 
collected  from  all  parts  of  Scotland,  and  including  the  forces  which 
Earl  Moddan  had  expected  from  Ireland.  Mr.  Skene  conjectures 
that  Macbeth  now  tilled  the  place  which  Moddan  had  formerly 
occupied  as  leader  of  the  King's  army.  The  battle  took  place  at  a 
spot  called  Torfnes,  which  Mr.  Anderson  supposes  to  be  Tarbetness, 
but  which  Mr.  Skene  believes  to  be  Burghead.  "  The  Scots,"  to 
quote  the  Saga  once  more,  "  were  by  f,ir  the  most  numerous.  Earl 
Thorfinn  was  among  the  foremost  of  his  men  ;  he  had  a  gold-plated 
helmet  on  his  head,  a  sword  at  his  belt,  and  a  spear  in  his  hand, 
and  he  cut  and  thrust  with  both  hands.  It  is  even  said  that  he 
was  foremost  of  all  his  men.  He  first  attacked  the  Irish  division, 
and  so  fierce  were  he  and  his  men,  that  the  Irish  were  immediately 
routed,  and  never  regained  their  position.  Then  King  Kali*  had 
his  standard  brought  forward  against  Earl  Thorfinn,  and  there  was 
the  fiercest  struggle  for  a  while  ;  but  it  ended  in  the  flight  of  the 
king,  and  some  say  he  was  slain."  It  is  added  that  Thorfinn 
conquered  as  far  as  Fife ;  and  he  became  so  enraged  at  a  threatened 
insurrection,  that  he  harried  the  country,  leaving  scarcely  a  hut 
standing.  In  the  words  of  the  Norse  bard,  "  the  flames  devoured 
the  homesteads,"  and  the  Scottish  kingdom — meaning,  we  suppose, 
the  eastern  Lowlands — "  was  reduced  to  smoking  ashes."  "  After 
this,"  adds  our  authority,  "  Thorfinn  went  through  Scotland  to  the 
north  until  he  reached  his  ships,  and  subdued  the  country  where- 
ever  he  went,  and  did  not  stop  till  he  came  to  Caithness,  where 
he  spent  the  winter  ;  but  every  season  after  that  he  went  out  on 
expeditions,  and  plundered  in  the  summer  time  with  all  his  men." 

Two  observations  may  be  made  at  this  point ;  one  that  Macbeth 
is  not  mentioned  in  the  Saga,  and  the  other  that  King  Duncan  is 
not  designated  by  his  historical  name,  but  is  spoken  of  as  King 
Kali  Hunclason,  the  son  of  the  hound.  Mr.  Anderson,  therefore, 
does  not  absolutely  identify  Kali  with  Duncan,  although  he  ac- 
knowledges the  probability  that  they  were  one  and  the  same.  Mr. 

*  This  is  the  name  given  to  Duncan  in  the  Saga. 


The  Celtic  Province  of  Moray.  75 

Skene,  however,  expresses  little  doubt  on  the  point ;  and  unless 
the  annalists  are  entirely  wrong  in  their  dates,  there  seems  in  reality 
no  doubt  possible.  At  the  time  when,  according  to  the  Saga,  this 
war  occurred,  Duncan  was  unquestionably  king  of  Scotland.  All 
the  other  known  circumstances  lead  to  the  same  conclusion.  The 
i'act  that  Macbeth  is  not  mentioned  in  the  Saga  is  of  no  impor- 
tance, for  the  Norse  chroniclers  were  not  likely  to  pay  any  attention 
to  him  or  his  doings. 

The  question  now  arises,  What  part  did  Macbeth  really  act  at 
the  crisis  of  the  war  ?  That  he  joined  Thorfinn  is  obvious,  for 
he  afterwards  reigned  peacefully  over  a  large  portion  of  Scotland, 
owing,  as  is  believed,  to  his  alliance  with  the  Norse  power.  But 
when  or  how  did  he  desert  Duncan  1  Of  course  we  are  here  in  the 
region  of  conjecture  ;  but  the  story  we  have  been  following  is  not 
inconsistent  with  other  narratives,  and  we  must  just  interpret  the 
circumstances  to  the  best  of  our  ability.  A  contemporary  chronicler 
states  that  Duncan  was  slain  in  1040  by  his  general,  Macbeth.  It 
is  probable  that,  seeing  the  cause  of  the  King  ruined,  the  Maormor 
of  Moray  determined  to  forsake  his  standard  and  ally  himself  with 
his  successful  rival.  He  knew  the  strength  and  the  ruthlessness  of 
the  Norsemen  from  the  experience  of  his  predecessors  ;  and  though 
he  could  doubtless  have  found  safety  amidst  the  mountain  fastnesses 
of  the  interior,  he  would  naturally  have  been  reluctant  to  become  a 
defeated  and  broken-down  fugitive.  He  was  also  an  ambitious  man  ; 
and  revolving  all  the  chances  and  difficulties  of  the  situation,  he 
may  well  have  resolved  to  sacrifice  the  Scottish  sovereign  to  his 
own  desires  or  necessities.  If  he  wanted  to  make  his  peace  with 
Thorfinn,  what  more  acceptable  gift  could  he  bring  than  the  head 
of  King  Duncan  1  Besides,  as  we  have  seen,  the  southern  king- 
dom had  been  pressing  its  own  claims  over  Morayland.  Macbeth 
had  no  wish  to  be  subordinate  to  the  King  of  Scotia.  He  held 
that  he  was  himself  an  independent  prince  ;  and  here  was  a  good 
opportunity  once  for  all  to  destroy  Scottish  pretensions,  or  perhaps, 
if  Thorfinn  was  favourable,  to  seize  upon  the  Scottish  throne.  His 
wife,  desirous  to  avenge  her  kinsman,  doubtless  encouraged  such 
projects.  Thus  influenced,  it  is  reasonable  to  suppose  that  Macbeth 
slew  Duncan  after  the  battle,  and  threw  in  his  lot  with  Thorfinn. 
Their  combined  forces  ravaged  the  country  east  and  south,  and  a 
partition  of  the  kingdom  appears  to  have  followed.  The  rule  of 
Thorfinn  was  acknowledged  throughout  the  district  north  of  the 
Grampians,  while  Macbeth  ruled  over  the  central  territory.  Mr. 
Skene  thinks  that  Cumbria  and  Lothian  remained  faithful  to  the 
children  of  Duncan. 


7G  Gaelic  Socieiy  of  Inverness. 

It  is  useless  to  discuss  the  question  where  King  Duncan  was 
slain.  It  is  certain  that  he  was  not  assassinated  in  the  present 
Cawdor  Castle,  for  that  building  was  not  in  existence  until  400 
years  after  his  death.  He  may  have  been  killed  in  Macbeth's  rath 
or  stronghold  at  Inverness,  but  this  is  mere  conjecture.  The  older 
authorities  state  that  he  was  murdered  near  Elgin,  at  Bothgof  uane  or 
Bothgowan,  which  is  said  to  be  Gaelic  for  a  blacksmith's  hut.  If 
the  decisive  battle  took  place  at  Burghead,  there  is  nothing  improb- 
able in  believing  that  he  was  killed  in  a  wayside  hut,  while  fleeing 
from  the  victorious  Norsemen. 

The  reign  of  Macbeth  extended  to  seventeen  years,  and  was 
comparatively  peaceful  and  prosperous.  The  power  of  Thorfinn 
helped  to  render  his  throne  secure  ;  but  something  must  also  have 
been  due  to  the  Conservative  elements  still  existing  in  the  Scottish 
kingdom.  The  innovations  which  had  been  previously  introduced 
could  not  have  failed  to  create  a  certain  measure  of  discontent. 
The  old  Pictish  law  of  succession  through  the  female  line  had  been 
abandoned ;  the  law  of  Tanistry  had  next  been  undermined  by 
Teutonic  influences ;  and  to  the  southern  Celts  it  may  have  been 
satisfactory  to  obtain  a  Gaelic  king  like  Macbeth,  especially  as  he 
was  connected  by  his  wife  with  their  own  royal  family.  Macbeth 
was  in  reality  the  last  truly  Celtic  king  of  Scotland.  By  the  oldest 
writers  he  is  represented  as  a  liberal  and  popular  sovereign.  He 
and  his  queen  twice  gave  grants  of  land  to  the  Culdees  of  Loch- 
Leven,  and  Macbeth  and  Thorfinn  appear  to  have  visited  Kome  in 
1050,  where  the  Scottish  king  freely  distributed  silver  to  the  poor. 
Several  attempts  were  made  to  dethrone  him,  but  until  1057  with- 
out success.  In  that  year  Malcolm  Canmore,  advancing  from  Nor- 
thumberland, attacked  him  with  a  powerful  force.  Macbeth  was 
driven  across  the  Mounth,  and  slain  at  Lumphanan  in  Marr,  where 
there  is  still  a  large  cairn  known  as  Cairnbeth.  The  causes  of 
Malcolm's  success  are  uncertain.  The  only  conjecture  Mr.  Skene 
can  offer  is  that  the  warlike  Thorfinn  was  dead  and  the  Norse  power 
in  decay. 

The  events  that  followed  Macbeth's  death  were  shortly  narrated 
by  the  essayist.  By  his  victory  in  1187,  William  the  Lion 
strengthened  the  central  authority  ;  and  the  castles  which  he  built 
at  Eedcastle  and  Dunscath  (on  the  north  side  of  the  Cromarty  Firth) 
overawed  the  spirit  of  the  north-eastern  Celts.  Disturbances  oc- 
curred often  enough  in  subsequent  times  ;  but,  on  the  whole,  after 
his  day  the  power  of  the  Scottish  throne  was  generally  acknow- 
ledged in  Morayland. 


The  Cosmos  of  the  A  nclent  Gaels.  77 

12TH  MARCH,  1879. 

The  paper  before  the  meeting  on  this  date  was  by  Mr.  Donald 
Koss,  M.A.,  H.M.  Inspector  of  Schools,  on — 

THE  COSMOS  OF  THE  ANCIENT  GAELS  IN  ITS 
EELATION  TO  THEIR  ETHICS. 

PART  II.* 

In  attempting  to  gather  up  the  loose  threads  of  my  former 
paper,  I  wish  to  re-assert  with  increasing  emphasis  the  preliminary 
proposition  which  forms  the  necessary  introduction  to  a  full  under- 
standing of  the  problem  under  discussion,  and  my  individual  stand- 
point in  reference  to  it.  My  purpose  was,  and  now  is,  in  the  first 
place,  to  open  up  from  the  region  of  modern  criticism  an  avenue  to 
the  broader  and  fuller,  and  at  the  same  time  more  accurate  con- 
sideration of  the  literary  heritage  of  the  Gaelic  race ;  and,  secondly, 
to  show  how  much  this  country  owes  to  the  general  but  indefinite 
Celtic  elements  that  run  through  its  social  economics  and  political 
institutions. 

The  subject  is  a  difficult  one,  and  I  present  the  results  of  some- 
what wide  research  in  a  wide  field  with  much  diffidence.  But  the 
conditions  of  this  fiercely  sceptical,  hard,  and  unmerciful  age  in 
which  we  live,  are  eminently  favourable  to  a  fresh  consideration, 
from  a  new  standpoint,  of  a  subject  around  which  loose  thought  and 
unsifted  literature  have  grown.  We  know  how  an  age  like  this, 
with  a  keen  sense  for  facts,  for  objective  realities,  and  extracted 
truths,  contains  a  hopeful  basis  of  enlarged  systems,  both  within  its 
own  narrow  compass  and  outside  of  its  contents,  in  the  purer  and 
more  generous  spirit  which,  in  opposing,  supports  it.  The  spirit 
of  our  age  may  be  microscopic,  but  it  is  also  -hopefully  keen  within 
its  own  range,  and  if  its  vision  is  directed  to  what  is  near  and 
palpable,  it  is  only  to  explain  the  remote  and  indefinite.  Thus  we 
see,  in  such  works  as  those  of  Mr.  Skene,  for  example,  a  return 
to  facts  and  truth,  just  as  we  see  along  the  whole  line  of  history  the 
severance  of  actuality  from  the  pleasing  parasites  which  a  luxuriant 
fancy  has  reared.  With  its  strictness  and  honesty  of  research,  its 
closeness  of  observation,  and  rigid  reverence  for  historical  canons, 
no  former  age  has  at  all  approached  ours  in  its  faculty  for  studying 
the  widest  thought  in  the  most  meagre  facts,  and  in  its  tendency 

*  For  Part  I.,  vide  VoL  VI.,  pacje  120. 


78  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

to  reflect  the  most  ultimate  truths  in  the  least  general  propositions, 
through  methods  peculiarly  modern.  Hence  its  aim,  perhaps 
its  highest  conscious  aim,  is  to  transplant  its  philosophy  from  the 
region  of  indefinite  intuition  and  introspective  analysis,  to  that  of 
history  and  research  amongst  the  concrete  objects  of  the  material 
world.  But,  whilst  this  is  so,  the  need  is  ever  the  same,  if  not 
greater  than  ever,  to  keep  the  reverse  of  the  process  in  view — how 
fact  vanishes  in  the  light  of  theory,  and  how  its  only  solution  is  in 
a  meaning  beyond  it ;  and  to  note  that  if  the  direct  result  of 
reverence  for  facts  is  a  change  in  the  whole  aspect  of  philosophy, 
the  change  after  all  is  only  a  fresh  reading,  in  a  new  light,  of  the 
old,  old,  eternally  recurring  problem. 

I  have  pointed  out  how,  in  the  new  and  harder  conditions,  one 
sharing  to  some  extent  the  spirit  of  modern  culture  and  criticism, 
and  therefore,  in  some  slight  measure,  the  heir  of  all  the  ages,  has 
some  fresh  aptitude  to  examine  the  nature  and  value  of  the  Gaelic 
literary  heritage,  provided  also  he  has  a  competent  mastery  over  its 
contents.  Truth  is  supreme,  and  shall  prevail.  It  matters  not, 
therefore,  if  the  increasing  results  of  my  enquiry  prove  staggering 
to  my  own  sympathies,  and  out  of  accord  with  the  verdict  of  my 
predecessors  in  the  same  field. 

I  have  also  drawn  attention,  though  briefly,  to  the  gradual  and 
silent,  but  still  remarkable  change  of  criticism  regarding  the  rank 
and  value,  as  a  factor  in  civilization,  of  the  Celtic  elements  in  these 
Isles,  and  especially  regarding  the  energy  of  the  Gaelic  race  since  it 
has  got  a  fair  trial  to  show  its  better  qualities  in  character  and 
conduct.  The  fact  gets  wider  and  wider  acknowledgment  from 
more  competent  authorities,  that  modern  Scotland  derives  its  recent 
greatness  from  Gaelic  sources,  and  that  the  Gael  in  becoming  a 
Teuton  in  name  and  appearance,  does  not  sink  the  better  qualities 
of  his  nature  in  sinking  his  nationality.  As  we  see  how  fairly 
Matthew  Arnold  gathers  up  some  of  the  best  of  contemporary 
thought,  when  he  recommends  us  to  cure  our  national  diseases  by 
introducing  more  Celtic  virtue,  and  by  profiting  by  the  example  of 
the  gens  elite  of  France,  we  recur  to  the  dark  pictures  of  books  of 
travel  in  Scotland  and  kindred  literature  of  last  century — to  the 
days  when  between  the  mental  moods  of  the  Gaelic  people  and  the 
outer  characteristics  by  which  the  self-complacent  Teuton  revealed 
the  workings  of  his  deeper  life,  a  strong  barrier  was  raised  by  the 
latter  in  his  own  favour,  when  in  the  pride  of  that  self-complacency 
he  treated  his  northern  neighbours  in  the  high-handed  manner 
in  which  the  Greek,  in  ages  when  the  gospel  of  brotherhood  was 
unpreached,  despised  the  menial  barbarians  with  whom  he  refused 


The  Cosmos  of  ihe  A  ncient  Gaels.  79 

to  share  his  culture  ;  or  after  the  fashion  in  which  the  Jew  isolated 
himself  in  the  pride  of  his  traditions  from  the  impure  contact  of  the 
Gentile  world. 

In  books  of  travel,  in  criticism,  in  general  literature  of  the  end 
of  lasb  century  and  the  beginning  of  this  one,  this  is  how 
the  Celtic  heritage  was  described  by  English,  German,  and  the 
whole  tribe  of  Tudesqua  writers  : — The  Celt  is  an  impediment, 
vanishing  before  civilization  like  the  Eed  Indian  in  his  prairie. 
From  the  dawn  of  history,  the  Celtic  races  have  been  centuries  in 
the  rear,  hugging  crass  creeds  after  more  enlightened  people 
had  abandoned  them,  and  solacing  themselves  with  incoherent 
superstitions,  which  sturdier  nations  regarded  as  the  exuvice  of 
current  beliefs.  Even  the  best  articles  of  their  theology  are  simply 
disjointed  fragments,  charged  abundantly  with  myths  and  shrouded 
in  mysteries.  Like  all  weak  or  negative  races,  they  have  always 
betaken  themselves  to  riddles,  ambiguous  prophecy,  transparent 
pretence,  and  the  gift  of  second  sight ;  but  whilst,  in  juggler  fashion, 
they  profess  to  see  through  what  surrounds  their  visible  universe, 
they  have  no  insight  into  the  simplest  impulses  of  their  own  being  ; 
and  what  they  do  decipher  vaguely  is  not  Nature's  meaning  through 
what  lies  over  her,  hut  her  feeblest  symbol  distorted  through  the 
troubled  concrete  of  un worded  imagination.  They  never  valued  the 
power  of  silence  ;  they  never  knew  the  energy  of  calm  reserve. 
They  may  have  had  some  graces  to  dazzle  an  unthinking  enthusiast ; 
incoherent  eloquence  ;  impulsive  ardour  ;  showy,  but  disintegrating 
love  ;  a  volcanic  tendency  to  revolt ;  but  they  have  been  visionaries 
dead  to  the  laws  of  fact,  frantic  seers,  pretentious  bards,  with  little 
faculty  for  the  objectively  real,  and  less  for  the  subjectively  true ; 
and  when  not  dreamers,  they  have  been  scourges  in  lands  which 
they  failed  to  conquer  or  till.  With  singular  inaptitude  for  facts, 
and  for  the  discipline  of  large  organizations,  the  best,  the  most  law- 
abiding  of  them,  have  seldom  got  beyond  a  melancholy  wail,  except 
when  passion,  the  attribute  of  animal  nature,  has  driven  them  into 
fits  of  revenge.  The  very  brilliancy  of  the  race  has  been  nickering ; 
and  to  their  own  meagre  hopes  they  have  not  been  loyal.  Till  they 
hecome  sober-minded,  steady  of  purpose,  practical,  and  endowed 
with  a  moderate  share  of  the  persistence  which  routine  creates,  they 
can  have  no  kindred  with  the  friends  of  progress  or  social  reform. 
But,  as  they  fail  to  see  the  line  between  the  uncertain  world  within 
and  the  solid  world  without,  their  facts  are  encrusted  all  over  with 
fancies,  their  histories  elude  the  recognized  canons  of  research,  their 
language  is  a  fitting  article  for  savage  imagery,  and  crude  conglom- 
erate thinking ;  their  philosophies  are  audacious  myths  or  shreds 


80  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

of  savage  survivals,  and  their  much  vaunted  poetry  is  stolen  or 
appropriated  from  more  fertile  fields  whenever  it  happens  to  rise 
above  the  dignity  of  scurrilous  twaddle,  or  to  extend  beyond  the 
borders  of  the  rude  elemental  lyric. 

No  doubt  this  appears  to  contain  a  fierce  indictment  against  the 
Celts.  No  doubt,  also,  a  certain  egotistical  class  of  Celts,  ever 
ready  to  thrust  themselves  before  public  notice  as  representa- 
tives of  a  noble  race,  which  they  do  their  utmost  to  disgrace,  merit 
this  charge.  That  ignorant  type  of  Highlander,  for  example — who 
sees  no  manly  virtue  except  beneath  the  kilt,  which  in  his  want  of 
knowledge  he  calls  the  national  garb— who  hears  no  sweet  sound 
except  that  of  the  bagpipes,  which  he  calls  our  national  instrument, 
and  who  finds  no  poetry  except  in  Gaelic,  which  lie  regards  as  the 
national  language — whilst  making  himself  the  laughing-stock  of  the 
stranger,  never  fails  to  proclaim  himself  also  as  the  apostle  of  cul- 
ture, and  as  the  typical,  if  not  the  best,  specimen  of  the  Gaelic 
people.  He  is  altogether  ignorant  of  the  merest  elements  of  his 
ancestral  history ;  he  preaches  manliness,  and  toadies  to  the 
nearest  lord,  or  pins  himself  to  the  outskirts  of  the  nearest  repu- 
tation. His  function  is  to  ignore  facts,  and  to  over-rule  the 
laws  of  social  polity  and  natural  sequence.  He  calls  himself  a  re- 
former ;  and  he  advocates  a  return  to  the  ways  of  our  fathers — to 
the  kilt,  to  the  bagpipes,  to  Gaelic — all  which  he  loudly  asserts  to 
possess  high  national  antiquity  as  well  as  high  national  virtues. 
When  he  thrusts  his  little  personality  into  print,  and  heralds  forth 
his  miserable  creed,  every  Celtic  savant  in  Europe  knows  that  the 
kilt  is  neither  ancient  nor  Gaelic  ;  that  the  bagpipe  is  Sclavonic, 
and  not  the  national  instrument  of  the  Gaelic  people,  and  that 
Gaelic  itself  is  a  very  modern  and  very  composite  dialect  of  a  very 
old  family  of  languages. 

This  type  of  Celt,  however,  very  fortunately  obtains  but  little 
hearing.  He  is  estimated  generally  at  his  value,  as  we  all  are,  and 
the  character  of  the  Celtic  race  is  examined  without  his  aid,  and  in 
the  full  knowledge  that  he  is  both  an  accident  and  a  nuisance.  The 
change  of  criticism  is  in  consequence  of  this  great  and  just.  In  look- 
ing round  and  round  our  Gaelic  literary  heritage,  our  national  in- 
stitutions, and  the  criticism  of  non-Gaelic  races  on  their  rivals,  I 
gradually  got  a  clearer  idea  than  I  ever  had  before  of  the  source  of 
much  of  what  is  best  and  purest,  and  most  hopeful  in  our  social 
economies.  The  heritage  is  both  small  and  singular.  It  is  partly 
as  yet  hovering  over  the  isles  and  valleys  of  the  west,  and  we  have 
good  specimens,  probably  the  best  specimens  of  it,  in  such  works  as 
Leabhar  na  Feinne  and  West  Highland  Tales  of  Mr.  Campbell, 


The  Cosmos  of  the  A  ncient  Gaels.  81 

the  Sean  Dana  of  Dr.  Smith,  and  the  mass  of  broken  literature 
out  of  which  M'Pherson  constructed  his  Ossian.  What  is  the 
meaning  of  all  that  national  literature  ?  In  going  in  quest  of  that 
meaning,  my  guiding  prc-supposition  was  that  of  law  in  the  develop- 
ment and  conservation  of  the  smallest  as  well  as  greatest  fragment. 
I  recognised  the  great,  but  obscured  fact,  that  the  world  moves  within 
the  grasp  of  iron  necessity,  and  that  chance,  a  mere  name  by  which 
we  conceal  our  ignorance  of  natural  processes,  does  not  enter  into 
the  rise  of  folk-lore,  into  the  traditional  tales  of  a  conservative  race, 
into  their  poetry,  or  even  into  their  rudest  lyric  or  narrowest  pro- 
verb. The  operation  of  law,  definite  and  supreme,  is  no  doubt  a 
relation,  and  with  the  same  care  with  which  we  trace  it  in  the 
province  of  chemistry,  and  in  the  process  of  crystallization,  it  could 
be  traced  in  the  grotesque  commonplaces  of  Fingalian  and  kindred 
literature,  provided  only  we  could  look  far  enough  backwards  and 
outwards  into  the  series  of  conditioning  elements  under  which  they 
have  assumed  their  present  shape.  This  literature  has  drawn  its 
strange  meaning  from  early  ages  and  through  many  forms,  but  cause 
and  effect  enters  into  its  composition  as  into  all  besides,  and  it  is  as 
pliant  to  general  principles  and  far-reaching  laws  as  a  literature  of 
apparent  coherence  and  orderliness. 

One,  and  that  a  well  known,  illustration  of  this  may  here  be 
cited.  Nothing  ought  to  be  more  familiar  to  any  student  of 
language  than  the  vast  changes  that  are  silently  going  on,  and 
always  have  been  going  on  in  every  language  spoken  and  written. 
Should  a  Highlander  of  the  fourteenth  century  rise  from  his  grave 
and  address  the  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness  in  the  purest  Gaelic  of 
his  time,  probably  the  most  enthusiastic  member  of  that  learned 
body  would  have  the  utmost  difficulty  in  understanding  his  speech  ; 
but  should  a  Highlander  of  the  fourth  century  hold  forth  before 
the  same  audience,  it  is  most  certain  that  not  one  member,  not 
even  the  greatest  advocate  of  the  theory  of  the  remote  antiquity 
of  Gaelic,  could  understand  one  word  of  what  he  might  say. 
Comparative  philology  has  made  such  rapid  progress  in  our  own 
day,  such  increasing  light  is  being  shed  on  the  growth  of  lan- 
guage, and  such  a  mass  of  clearly  ascertained  linguistic  facts  and 
principles  lies  before  us,  that  even  the  most  irreverent  of  critics 
are  somewhat  chary  in  making  sport  of  philologists  or  antiquarians. 
Of  the  extinct  language,  spoken  at  Inverness  and  Swansea  probably 
before  either  Gaelic  or  Welsh  came  into  being,  only  a  few  words — 
such  as  Cartit,  Diuper,  Peanfahel,  Scolofth,  and  Ur — are  known  to  us 
now  in  their  original  form ;  yet  even  such  a  competent,  I  might 
almost  add  such  a  sceptical,  scholar  as  Mr  Skene,  proceeding  upon 

6 


82  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

dialectic  considerations  and  the  ascertained  laws  of  transmutation 
within  the  Celtic  languages,  not  only  indicates  generally  how  frag- 
ments of  the  lost  Pictish  may  be  restored,  but  actually  reconstructs 
a  small  section  (the  Four  Ancient  Books  of  Wales,  vol.  I.) 

And  what  is  possible  in  philology  is  equally  possible  in  the 
more  intricate  sphere  of  thought  The  results  that  I  have  arrived 
at  are  somewhat  staggering.  I  leave  entirely  out  of  view  the 
published  poetry  from  the  age  of  the  redoubtable  Iain  Lorn  and  the 
fiery  Alasdair  Mac  Mhaighstir  Alasdair  downwards,  with  only  one 
remark.  The  beautiful  translations  given  of  these  by  Professor 
Blackie  have,  in  most  cases,  no  perceptible  relation  with  the 
original.  They  are,  in  fact,  as  nearly  as  possible,  original  poemlets, 
strongly  marked  with  the  grace  and  vivacity  of  the  author  of  the 
Language  and  Literature  of  the  Scottish  Highlands,  rather  than 
translations  of  the  fragments  in  M'Kenzie.  Leaving,  however, 
modern  Gaelic  Literature  aside,  I  find  the  existing  literature  of  the 
Highlands  both  meagre  in  amount  and  of  a  certain  unmistakeable 
quality.  Language  and  thought  go  hand  in  hand;  the  one  is  the 
best  index  of  the  other.  If  the  former  be  elastic  and  copious,  the 
latter  cannot  be  meagre  and  crude.  And  in  determining  the  value 
of  either,  we  must  confine  ourselves  to  the  existing  facts,  and  we 
must  endeavour  to  understand  what  these  facts  mean.  Moreover, 
we  must  cast  aside  all  the  claims  of  feeling,  and  all  patriotic  senti- 
ment before  venturing  to  give  any  opinion  on  the  merits  of  a 
question  which  perhaps  invokes  an  excess  of  sentiment,  and  conse- 
quently of  partiality.  There  is  a  class  of  Gaelic  eulogists  for  whom 
I  have  no  respect,  for  they  deserve  none.  The  class  is,  unfortu- 
nately, a  wide  one.  It  includes  hundreds  who  leave  their  proper 
patronymic  in  the  Highlands,  and  enter  life  under  the  wretched 
veil  of  some  Lowland  equivalent.  It  includes  scores  of  clergy- 
men and  others  who  would  thrust  a  purely  Gaelic  education  on  the 
peasantry,  and  who  eject,  so  far  as  they  can,  the  old  tongue  from 
their  own  firesides  ;  it  includes  the  orators  who  generally  wind  up 
an  inflated  eulogium  in  Gaelic  with  the  ridiculous  admission,  uttered 
in  a  pompous  tone  of  self-complacency,  that  they  are  altogether  ig- 
norant of  the  language  ;  it  includes  writers  who  advocate  Gaelic  as 
the  highest  medium  of  intellectual  and  spiritual  life,  and  yet  who 
are  utterly  unable  to  translate  a  Gaelic  sentence  into  passable 
English,  or  to  speak  or  understand  the  language  of  the  Highlands  ; 
and  it  includes  those  who,  though  perhaps  good  Gaelic  scholars,  are 
unable  to  read  Latin,  Greek,  German,  French,  Italian,  but  in  the  face 
of  that  defect,  proclaim  loudly  the  superiority  of  Gaelic,  with  its 
small  literature,  to  the  vast  literary  scope  of  these  great  languages. 


The  Cosmos  of  ihe  A  ncient  Gaels.  83 

Whatever  has  been,  or  may  yet  be  said  of  the  wide  range  of  Gaelic, 
of  its  structural  complexity  and  high  antiquity,  of  its  remarkable 
capacity  for  narrative  and  descriptive  purposes,  of  its  high  adapta- 
tion for  didactic  and  lyric  poetry,  the  stubborn  fact,  probably  un- 
heeded by  the  prejudiced  and  the  credulous,  meets  every  competent 
student  of  its  history  and  thought,  that  its  existing  literary  contents 
do  not  support  these  high  claims.  It  is  a  singular  fact  that,  when- 
ever the  evidence  is  of  a  more  or  less  negative  character,  almost  all 
races  claim  for  their  own  language  an  indefinite  antiquity.  The 
Welshman ,  quite  as  unblushingly  as  the  most  enthusiastic  Gael, 
asserts  that  Adam  proposed  to  Eve  in  his  own  mother  tongue  ;  the 
Provencal  peasant,  whom  I  met  to-day,  is  proud  of  his  national 
poetry,  and  in  the  matter  of  national  boasting  puts  any  Welshman 
into  the  shade  ;  and  the  sluggish  native  of  Servia  outdoes  the  na- 
tive of  Provence  in  this  faculty  of  exaggeration.  Such  partial  and 
such  biased  evidence,  however,  must  be  cast  aside.  After  a  careful 
scrutiny  of  all  Gaelic  fragments  upon  which.  I  could  lay  my  hands, 
I  am  convinced  that  the  history,  poetry,  and  shreds  of  philosophy 
wrapt  up  in  Gaelic,  represent  a  lower  stage  of  development,  and  a 
lower  level  of  thinking  and  conduct  than  those  of  Greece  in  the 
age  of  Hesiod,  of  Eome  in  the  time  of  Ennius,  of  France  in  the 
Kolandic  epoch,  or  of  Germany  in  that  of  the  Nibelungen.  This  un- 
doubtedly indicates  a  remote  antiquity,  and  many  changes.  Nemo 
repente  fuit  turpissimus.  No  more  does  a  race  become  suddenly 
enlightened.  The  Gaelic  people,  therefore,  have  always  been  in  ad- 
vance of  their  literature.  It  is  a  race  of  great  energy  and  vitality, 
possessing  all  the  elements  of  rapid  advance.  But  he  is  a  poor  type 
of  a  patriot,  as  well  as  an  incompetent  critic,  who  rests  the  moral 
character  of  the  race  either  on  the  antiquity  of  their  language  or  its 
literature.  No  other  race  can  be  produced  out  of  the  whole  roll  of 
history  with  such  capacity  for  progress  allied  to  so  meagre  a 
literature. 

The  Gaelic  language,  as  we  now  find  it,  can  be  proved  to  be  of 
very  modern  origin.  It  is  highly  composite.  It  contains  a  large 
Latin  element,  introduced  undoubtedly  during  the  middle  ages 
through  the  agency  of  the  Latin  Church  ;  a  large  section  of  it  is  of 
French  origin,  and  this  also  is  comparatively  modern.  The  roving 
Norsemen,  who  so  frequently  visited  our  shores,  left  their  impress, 
not  only  on  the  literature,  but  also  on  the  topography  of  the  country, 
markedly  in  Islay,  Mull,  and  Skye.  All  the  Dalruadic  ecoriomy, 
as  well  as  the  Culdee  Church,  with  its  tribal  organization,  was  an 
offshoot  of  Irish  civilization ;  and  Celtic  archaeology  has  not  yet 
given  a  decisive  verdict  regarding  the  basis  of  the  race.  When  the 


84  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

verdict  is  given,  it  will  probably  be  that  Scotland  was  Teutonic  long 
before  it  became  Gaelic ;  in  other  words,  that  the  Gaels  were  in- 
vaders and  conquerors  of  our  soil.  Many  facts,  which  would  only 
enlarge  this  paper  with  wearisome  details,  might  be  given  in  sup- 
port of  this  view.  And  the  conclusion  is  that  the  Highlanders  are 
not  exclusively  Celtic ;  not  Celtic  in  their  deepest  fibre  perhaps, 
but  that  they  are  very  composite,  and  combine  many  of  the  qualities 
of  the  two  great  races — the  Celtic  and  the  Teutonic — that  dispute 
the  possession  of  the  north-Avest  and  middle  of  Europe. 

In  so  far  as  the  moral  qualities  of  the  Gaelic  people  are  con- 
cerned, the  question  of  the  basis  of  the  race  may  be  passed  over  in 
favour  of  that  of  the  influence  of  circumstances  upon  their  being. 
The  lourd  Pomeranian  derives  his  moral  qualities  from  the  dull  slug- 
gishness of  his  native  flats  and  native  swamps,  and  grows  up  obese 
and  unimpassioned.  So  also  the  Gael,  veritable  son  of  mist  and 
flood,  starts  out  of  conditions  which  create  quickness,  verve,  and 
energy,  along  with  a  certain  pliability  of  moral  purpose.  Often  in 
a  state  of  tension,  he  has  been  roughened'as  well  as  quickened  by 
his  lot.  At  times  he  has  been  treacherous  ;  at  times  cruel.  Often 
he  has  been  given  to  penitence  and  tears,  and  often  to  the  pathos 
of  bravado.  The  Saxon  faces  the  inevitable  calmly  and  without  a 
grumble,  as  when  the  peasant  of  Brandenburgh,  feeling  the  hand  of 
death  upon  him,  hurries  to  purchase  his  own  coffin,  and  carries  it 
home  on  his  shoulder  ;  the  Frenchman  gesticulates  before  it  in  the 
agony  of  expectation ;  the  Irishman,  standing  in  its  presence,  in- 
fuses a  jet  of  humonr  into  his  ravings  ;  and  the  West  Highland 
Gael  throws  a  halo  around  it  by  allowing  his  imagination  to  encom- 
pass in  its  broodings  the  ideals  of  suffering  and  death.  Whoever 
knows  the  social  state  of  the  West  coast  of  Scotland,  knows  also  how 
truly  the  impetuous  sorrows  of  Flory  Cameron  at  her  son's  grave  in 
Morven,  and  the  heart-rending  anguish,  of  the  emigrants  in  Tober- 
mory  Bay,  represent  the  highly  susceptible  organization  of  the 
people.  What  is  great  in  the  Saxon,  and  defective  in  the  Celt,  is 
the  inertia  of  unconscious  habit ;  what  is  noteworthy  in  the  Celt  is 
the  energy  of  transitory  consciousness  and  transitory  will.  Thus 
the  moral  code  of  the  one,  inasmuch  as  it  is  more  the  concretion  of 
underlying  unconscious  forces,  is  more  steady  and  reliable  than  that 
of  the  other,  which,  if  spasmodically  altruistic,  is  also  fitful.  The 
Celt  is  individualistic,  and  somewhat  capricious  ;  but  he  is  emi- 
nently the  source  of  revolution,  progress,  ideality.  What  in  the 
Saxon  is  mere  ennui,  or  pure  discomfort,  has  its  parallel  in  the 
Gaelic  organization  in  the  hysteric  pangs  of  sorrow.  But  since  he 
who  feels  most  keenly  is  also  capable  of  the  wildest  elation,  the 


The  Cosmos  of  the  A  ncient  Gaels.  85 

Gael,  when  not  pressed  down  by  the  force  of  sad  presentiments  and 
the  luxuries  of  repentance,  is  the  most  exuberant  of  mortals,  and  the 
most  fantastic  in  his  revels.  Watch  his  hilarity  in  his  cups,  as  I 
have  often  done  on  many  a  wet  evening  in  many  a  wet  glen,  and 
you  will  be  surprised  at  the  rapidity  with  which  he  passes  under 
the  spell  of  his  fiery  native  liqueur  from  the  extremes  of  depression 
to  those  of  boisterous  mirth,  and  thence  to  the  maudlin  morality 
and  pathos  of  the  tumbler.  Such  a  being  may  justly  be  described 
as  fitful,  vehement,  the  author  of  a  gloomy  literature,  across  whose 
surface  some  glimpses  of  sunshine  pass  rapidly.  The  'Celt  looked 
at  the  flux,  the  Saxon  more  at  the  stability  of  nature  ;  and  hence, 
when  the  latter  is  content  to  go  on  his  course  with  unquestioning 
faith,  the  former  looked  fitfully  into  the  dark  vacuum  of  the  future, 
and  peopling  it  with  his  troubled  phantasmagoria,  his  faith  was  flick- 
ering, variable,  and  often  pointing,  now  in  the  solace  of  hope,  now 
in  despair,  to  the  solemnities  of  the  unseen  world. 

As  we  recede  from  the  standpoint  of  the  present,  and  from  the 
familiar  moods  of  our  thinking  about  it,  the  world  becomes  more 
and  more  unlike  our  own,  and  its  image  more  confused  and  un- 
certain. The  Cosmos  of  our  ancestors  was  altogether  unlike  that 
which  presses  in  upon  each  of  us.  But  it  was  also  unlike  that 
which  can  be  reconstructed  out  of  the  Icelandic  Volsvnga  Saga — 
which  contains  undoubtedly  old  historic  myths;  it  differs  from 
that  of  the  Eddas,  the  oldest  monument  perhaps  of  North-German 
literature ;  and  it  is  still  more  unlike  the  Greek  idea  as  we  have  it 
in  Homer,  and,  of  course,  in  writings  later  than  the  age  of  Homer. 
An  example  will  illustrate  what  I  mean.  The  lower  animals  enter 
largely  into  the  working-out  of  many  of  Mr.  Campbell's  Tales, 
as  well  as  into  the  Greek  Ba.Tpaxo/j.vo/j.axia,  which  is  the  product 
of  a  later  period  than  the  Homeric.  But  a  great  deal  of 
humour,  satire,  and  caricature  is  introduced  in  the  miniature 
contests  of  the  latter,  and  that  humour  is  consciously  introduced  ; 
whereas  in  the  Tales,  the  conversations  between  man  and  the  lower 
animals,  as  well  as  the  struggles  between  mental  and  brute  force 
are  given,  I  might  say,  unconsciously,  as  a  matter  of  fact  and 
history,  worthy  of  credit,  and  not  as  a  satire  on  current  morality. 
A  high  authority  in  Greek  criticism,  Mr.  Gladstone,  has  pointed 
out  how  in  the  Homeric  poems  the  basis  of  the  art  is  altogether 
objective  ;  and  nearly  all  Greek  poetical  literature  is  a  standing 
proof  of  the  independence  of  the  Greek  mind  of  the  Unseen  and 
Eternal ;  of  how  uniformly  the  Greek  sought  for  types  of  beauty 
and  proportion  in  the  greater  outer  world  of  sense ;  and  of  how 
little  he  made  of  sentiment  and  feeling,  a  fact  which  almost 


86  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

justifies  a  remark  endorsed  by  Lord  Beaconsfield,  that  the  ten- 
dency of  civilization  is  to  suppress  feeling.  In  the  well  known 
description  of  the  shield  of  Achilles,  given  in  the  Iliad,  the 
subjective,  including  all  feeling,  is  overlooked.  It  was  on  ac- 
count of  this  suppression  of  feeling  that  Goethe,  perhaps  the 
most  highly  endowed  of  modern  times,  and  of  whom  it  has  been 
said — On  riajamais  vu  chez  un  Jiotnme  une  telle  perfection  physique 
unie  a  une  aiissi  grande  perfection  intellect uelle,  has  singled  out  the 
Greeks  as  the  healthiest  type  of  moral  greatness.  lu  the  Iliad 
confidence  is  expressed  in  the  sufficiency  of  human  nature  for  the 
exigencies  of  its  own  trials,  apart  from  all  before  it  or  above  it. 
Not  only  different  from  this  moral  attribute,  but  at  the  opposite 
pole  to  it  are  the  loftiest  aspirations  of  the  Gael,  as  shadowed  forth 
in  the  Tales  or  in  the  fragmentary  literature  of  Fingalianism,  in 
which  we  see  mind  rushing  from  despair  to  overpowering  super- 
naturalism.  In  one  respect,  however,  the  Tales  approach  the 
Greek  in  their  similes  and  personification  of  the  terrible  and  the 
grand ;  in  their  mass  of.  symbolism  traversing  the  flux  of  the  sea, 
worthy  to  be  placed  on  the  same  level  as  the  Greek  image  of  the 
ocean — the  tear  of  Neptune — and  in  all  that  indicated  how  earnestly 
they  strove  to  enter  into  the  spirit  of  their  boisterous  surroundings. 
With  their  deep  sensitiveness  and  strong  anthropomorphic  ten- 
dency, they  found  the  world  a  partially  intelligible  symbol,  or,  as 
Ralph  Emerson  calls  it,  "  The  great  shadow  of  oneself  ; "  they  lived 
under  the  influence  of  a  varied  mixture  of  song  and  story,  and  drew 
upon  the  romance  of  the  indefinite  past  in  a  realm  of  thought  or 
feeling 

"  Where  fancy  entertains  becoming  guests, 
While  native  songs  the  heroic  past  recalls." 

As  with  the  child,  so  with  the  savage ;  as  with  the  individual, 
so  with  the  race  :  poetry  precedes  prose,  and  the  earliest  utterances 
strive  after  rhyme  and  measure.  The  day  may  come  when  by 
original  sin  the  learned  may  mean  animalism.  But,  however  that 
may  be,  the  fireside  Highland  literature  affords  a  fresh  proof  of  the 
intimate  relation  that  existed  between  the  human  race  and  the 
lower  animals  in  early  times,  and  of  how  animal  nature  was  in  close 
alliance  with  that  of  very  early  races.  The  Tales  reveal  a  people 
with  many  genuine  poetical  faculties,  and  with  much  sympathy  for 
the  wide  range  of  animal  life  beneath  them,  as  well  as  with  many 
aspirations  for  more  light,  and  an  ardent  desire  to  penetrate  beyond 
the  veil.  That  their  substantive  contents  have  come  down  from  a 
period  when  man  was  really  nearer  to  the  other  animals,  I  have 


The  Gosmos  of  the  Ancient  Gaels.  87 

« 

never  doubted.  I  believe  with  equal  firmness,  that  the  language  of 
birds,  in  common  to  all  early  myths,  has  a  high  significance  to 
the  student  of  ethnography. 

"  Poetry,"  as  defined  by  Bacon,  "  is  feigned  history,"  and  my 
conclusion  is  that  the  wail  and  woes  of  fragmentary  Gaelic  poetry  re- 
present a  fact  deeper  than  mere  emotion  or  the  deposit  of  sentiment. 
"  Fionn  never  gave  up  trembling  and  woe  from  that  day  until  the 
day  of  forever."  Before  we  attribute  this  excess  of  sorrow  to  the 
predominance  of  superstition,  it  would  be  well  to  examine  the  rise 
of  it.  The  boy  in  the  deep-vaulted  sombre  glen,  who  quivers  at  the 
recollection  of  the  dark  histories,  and  darker  legends  of  his  clan, 
is  by  no  means  a  coward  by  nature  or  mental  structure  ;  but  a  sen- 
sitive plant,  finely  strung  up  by  the  impulses  of  his  environment, 
and  as  susceptible  to  reverence  as  to  fear.  Though  his  quickening 
fancy  may  work  up  a  wayside  bush  into  the  herald  of  nether  torture, 
and  though  to  the  stranger  he  may  appear  in  consequence  as  a  pic- 
ture of  abject  terror,  with  will  paralyzed  and  cold  cramp  clutching 
the  life-strings  of  his  heart,  he  is,  beyond  the  scope  of  such  a  feeling, 
cool  and  brave,  daring  and  full  of  high  courage.  The  contents  of 
his  fiery  imagination  give  him  a  singular  experience,  not  unlike, 
perhaps,  to  the  dread  of  the  native  of  Chili  or  Central  America, 
who  staggers  at  the  first  symptoms  of  an  earthquake,  but  who  faces 
death  with  calmness  and  coolness.  No  doubt,  also,  familiarity  with 
sorrow  generates  peculiar  luxury.  'S  taitneach  learn  aolbhneas  a' 
bhroin  expresses  this,  and  moreover  points  to  what  results  generally, 
as  the  Gaelic  proverb  puts  it,  in  "  valour  and  great  deeds."  It  would 
be  of  deep  interest  had  we  the  means  to  enter  into  an  analysis  of 
this  complex  feeling ;  of  these  luxuries  of  grief,  and  the  sadness 
which  engloomed  the  end  : — 

"  We  shall  vanish  as  a  dream, 
And  be  missing  in  the  field  of  heroes. 
The  hunter  shall  not  know  our  tomb, 
Nor  shall  our  name  be  in  the  book  of  song." 

Death,  in  fact,  was  the  gloomiest  of  all  factors  to  these  highly 
strung  people,  and  here  they  were  far  removed  from  the  African 
race.  The  calm  fortitude  with  which  the  Homeric  characters  could 
contemplate  the  uncertain  end,  and  the  rapturous  elysium  which 
the  Koran  dangles  before  the  ambition  of  the  self-sacrificing  sons  of 
the  Crescent,  have  no  proper  equivalent  in  Fingalian  literature, 
in  which,  whilst  the  earthly  life  is  pictured  out  as  uncertain  at  its 
best  and  richest,  frequently  the  prospective  rewards  of  even  valour 
and  great  deeds  are  doubtful.  Death  is  still  the  great  mystery,  as 


88  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

it  always  was,  and  always  shall  be.  "With  our  forefathers  it 
"  darkened  round  the  mountain  crag  ; "  the  soul  was  called  "  by 
song  to  the  land  of  the  high  clouds,"  or  to  the  "  rayless  house  of 
lasting  gloom."  The  spirits  of  the  dead  "  swim  in  the  wind  ;  " 
"  the  great  black  shadow"  is  seen  in  his  "  mighty  strides,"  or  "  is 
poured  out "  from  the  eyes,  "  gloomy  and  darker  than  the  black 
raven."  And  the  wail  is  heard  through  the  glen  as  the  mystery 
passes  over  it : — 

"  Few  are  the  men  who  shed  not  tears  ; 
Not  few  the  women  at  lan's  grave 
Pouring  forth  tears  from  day  to  day." 

It  is  a  singular  fact  that  all  primitive  literatures  dwell  upon 
shadow-land,  and  figure  forth  the  philosophy  of  shade.  Just  as 
the  blind  love  to  think  in  colour,  and  just  as  the  grandest  figures 
in  the  later  works  of  the  blind  Milton  are  those  figured  forth  in  the 
symbolism  of  the  eye,  "  in  darkness  visible  ; "  so  the  old  races  found 
a  peculiar  fascination  in  brooding  over  shadows,  and  visible  unre- 
alities. As  I  read  through  some  of  those  old  disjointed  fragments, 
for  the  first  time,  association  recalled  an  old  Highlander,  long  since 
dead,  a  man  of  daring  courage,  lofty  disregard  of  morals,  and  most 
emphatic  irreverence,  yet  who  quaked  like  an  aspen  leaf  at  the  re- 
collection of  an  ill-omened  phenomenon  once  observed  by  him  on  a 
Eoss-shire  hill  on  a  moon-lit  morning.  As  he  was  ascending  the 
mountain,  to  his  infinite  horror,  he  saw  a  double  shadow  of  himself, 
which,  as  interpreted  by  the  traditional  wisdom  of  his  glen,  was 
prophetic  of  some  doom  either  to  himself  or  some  one  related  to 
him.  To  have  a  double  shadow  was,  in  many  places,  almost  as  bad 
as  to  have  no  shadow  at  all.  A  night  walk  in  one  of  our  great 
cities  would  dispel  the  illusion  ;  but  my  irreverent  countryman 
had  never  seen  a  great  city  or  the  glare  of  its  myriad  lamps.  This 
Gaelic  idea  of  shadow  is  no  doubt  connected  with  the  typical 
misery  of  Peter  Schlemihl,  who  having  sold  his  shadow  to  the  Evil 
One,  walks  henceforth  through  the  world,  weary  and  marked  for 
doom. 

I  have  tried  elsewhere  to  show  how  the  ancient  Gael  of  the 
Tales,  explained  all  malevolent  action  by  multiplying  analogues  of 
his  own  being,  and  how 

"  He  cast  upon  the  earth  whereon  he  stood 
The  formidable  shadow  of  himself." 

In  this  reduplication,  the  supernaturalism,  though  anthropomor- 
phic in  its  origin,  and  often  tragic  in  its  result,  was  far  different 


The  Gosmos  of  the  A  nctent  Gaels.  89 

from  the  artistic  supernaturalism  of  Hamlet,  Macbeth,  or  The 
Tempest,  in  which  the  mystery  consists  in  the  secret  promptings  of 
individual  conscience,  in  the  struggle  between  our  rights  and  old 
laws,  and  the  breaking  of  moral  nature  out  of  bounds.  On  the  con- 
trary, the  process  in  the  Tales  is  always  unconscious.  The  Gael, 
so  far  as  we  know,  was  not  troubled  by  secret  promptings  within 
his  moral  nature,  but  with  the  troublesome  intrusion  of  the  inexpli- 
cable factor  without. 

"  Me  premet  nox  fabulaeque  manes 
Et  domus  exilis  Plutonia" 

In  his  unconscious,  or  semi-conscious  state,  he  expressed  through 
the  medium  of  his  own  homely  symbols,  the  practical  philosophy  of 
Sartor  Resartus.  He  felt  vaguely,  though  he  knew  not  how  or 
why,  that  wherever  he  went,  his  own  imagination  was  the  enemy 
of  his  deeper  self,  as  felt  the  wanderer,  Teufelsdrock,  who  travelled, 
as  we  all  must  travel,  far  and  near  in  quest  of  a  remedy  for  a  mind 
diseased,  going  into  far-off  jungles  and  the  abode  of  doleful  crea- 
tures for  comfort  to  his  wounded  spirit,  who  fled  from  the  fetid 
atmosphere  of  the  crowded  city  to  the  calm  repose  of  illusory 
solitude  ;  but  yet  who  could  never  rid  himself  by  any  amount  of 
wandering  from  his  own  shadow,  from  his  second  nature,  from  stern 
facts  which  could  not  be  undone,  and  from  memories  which  could 
not  be  destroyed.  This  shadow  was  behind  him ;  but  of  the  future 
he  could  only  say,  with  the  Laureate, 

"  I  know  that  somewhere  on  the  waste 
The  shadow  sits  and  waits  for  me." 

On  this  I  make  only  one  remark.  I  think  I  see  in  this  shadow- 
land  the  type,  after  all,  of  permanent  existence,  and  a  link  that  joins 
the  philosopher  and  the  peasant.  What  the  commonplace  English- 
man expresses  in  his  couplet : 

"In  no  place  have  I  ever  been, 
Yet  ever  where  I  may  be  seen," 

and  what  the  Gaelic  poetaster  has  more  graphically  described  as  : — 
Tha  tannas  caol,  a's  faoin,  as  buan,  is,  though  neither  knows  it  not, 
the  equivalent  of  the  Hegelian  type  of  permanent  existence,  that 
which  is  and  that  which  is  not ;  something  and  yet  nothing ;  what 
derives  its  being  from  what  is  not ;  that  which  is  the  absence  of 
light  and  yet  which  stops  it. 

The  belief  of  the  Celt  in  shadow-land  is  shared  by  many  other 
races,  such  as  tribes  of  Indians,  who  assert  that  whatever  exists 
materially  carries  its  immortality  spiritually  ;  that  everything  that 


90  Gaelic  Sociefy  of  Inverness. 

has  a  shadow  has  also  a  soul,  which  can  enter  into  the  happy  hunting 
ground  afar.  Again,  on  the  Gold  Coast,  the  natives  entertain  the 
firmest  belief  in  a  strange  shadow-land,  to  which  the  souls  of  the 
departed  migrate  ;  and  they  leave  vessels  of  water  at  the  grave  to 
enable  their  relatives  in  shadow-land  to  drink  and  live. 

The  practical  morality  of  every  nation  is  largely  influenced  by 
the  current  views  regarding  the  soul  and  its  destinies.  A  highly 
educated  and  highly  enlightened  people  may  be  thoroughly  moral 
in  all  the  relations  of  life  without  entertaining  any  belief  in  the 
immortality  of  the  soul.  The  doctrine  is  not  modern  ;  but  amongst 
all  early  nations  it  differed  widely  from  the  form  in  which  it  is  now 
received  by  most  Christian  churches.  It  does  not  appear  that  the 
immortality  of  the  soul  was  an  article  of  faith  amongst  the  Jews 
until,  at  least,  after  the  captivity  ;  and  even  after  that  date  they 
had  serious  controversy  regarding  its  nature.  The  punishment  of 
the  wicked  through  perpetual  torments,  and  the  unalloyed  everlast- 
ing happiness  of  the  just,  are  refinements  of  creed  due  to  the 
subtle  theology  of  the  early  Christian  centuries.  But  there  may  be 
an  indefinite  belief  in  immortality  without  any  faith  in  special  re- 
wards and  punishments.  Plato  enumerates  throughout  his  writings 
no  less  than  ten  proofs  of  immortality  ;  but  not  one  of  these  is  con- 
clusively logical,  or  carries  the  conviction  of  a  problem  mathemati- 
cally certain  or  morally  true.  Amongst  northern  Germanic  nations, 
as  we  know  from  one  of  the  earliest  Eddas,  there  was  a  belief  in  a 
Gimil,  the  abode  of  the  blest,  and  a  Nastrand,  that  of  the  evil. 
And  that  the  Gaels  had  not  only  some  phase  of  the  doctrine  of 
immortality  as  their  creed,  but  also  belief  in  special  rewards  for 
heroes  cannot  be  doubted.  In  the  Highlands,  it  is  equally  certain, 
the  doctrine  of  immortality  was  connected  with  that  of  transmigra- 
tion. The  mermaid,  who  has  the  beauty  of  woman,  the  treacherous 
wraith  that  vanishes  suddenly  into  thin  air,  the  protean  being  that 
assumes  any  form  to  effect  his  cruel  purposes  ;  and  all  the  mass  of 
superstitions,  in  which  precautions  are  taken  lest  the  fairies  abstract 
the  departing  soul  and  place  it  elsewhere,  and  in  which  one  life  is 
supposed  to  be  restorable  on  the  sacrifice  of  another  life,  are  all 
relics  to  prove  this  conviction.  A  hazy  belief  is  still  current  in  the 
outer  isles  to  the  effect  that  the  souls  of  the  drowned  enter  into 
seals,  &c.,  and  thus  pass  into  happiness. 

The  bards,  who  could  read  the  past  and  from  its  lessons  shrewdly 
guess  the  future,  at  times  seem  to  have  claimed  the  right  of  issuing 
the  passport  to  the  land  of  bliss.  Till  they  sang  the  funereal  song, 
the  spirits  of  the  dead  could  not  ascend  to  the  hall  of  clouds,  or  sit 
on  the  throne  of  the  ivinds,  but  were  forced  to  hover  in  agony  over 


The  Cosmos  of  the  A  ncient  Gaels.  91 

the  chill  vapour  of  the  marsh.  There  is  no  proof  that  Druidism  was 
introduced  to  this  country  by  Phoenician  traders,  or  that  the  Gaels 
got  their  ideas  of  soul  and  immortality  from  the  Pythagoreans.  These 
were  of  much  more  simple  and  much  more  commonplace  origin. 
Eudimental  ideas  are  alike  amongst  all  races.  The  Celts  of  these 
Western  isles  probably  derived  their  concrete  idea  of  the  soul  as  a 
special  separate  entity  from  the  obtrusions  of  shadow-land,  and  their 
experience  in  dreams.  Incapable  of  tracing  physiological  effects  to 
their  proper  physical  causes,  and  living  often  upon  coarse  food  ob- 
tained at  irregular  intervals,  they  found  a  rough  and  ready  explana- 
tion of  the  giants  and  monsters  of  their  dreams  in  the  supposition 
that  these  fleeting  realities  were  spirits  ;  shadows  that  could  vanish 
into  the  air.  Whatever  its  origin  as  a  separate  entity,  the  soul  had 
reference  to  a  heaven  and  a  hell — a  group  of  warm  isles  of  the  west, 
and  a  sort  of  cheerless  purgatory.  Dr.  Rink  assures  us  that  the 
Esquimo  define  heaven  as  the  place  of  perpetual  blubber,  and  hell 
as  one  of  frost  and  famine  ;  and  that  they  believe  in  a  supernatural 
being  whose  will  is  revealed  only  through  the  priests,  and  who 
governs  all  our  destinies.  From  curious  customs  still  preserved  in 
remote  isles  and  isolated  glens,  as  well  as  from  the  debris  of  the 
Gaelic  literature,  we  can  understand  the  origin  of  a  cheerless  purga- 
lory,  and  how  sun-worship  arose.  The  race  who  lived  in  these 
circumstances,  in  looking  up  at  the  sun,  found  supreme  divinity 
there,  in  the  power  which  both  awed  and  inspired  the  struggling 
spirit.  There  was 

"  The  Sovereign  whence  emanated  universal  light. 
Ah,  Sun  !  awful  art  thou  in  all  thy  strength." 

There  is  not  much  analysis  traceable  in  these  Tales.  The  Khurds 
of  Orissa  have  a  fourfold  division  of  mind ;  and  most  literatures  have 
a  triple  division  of  it;  but  in  Fingalianism  it  is  generally  figured  forth 
under  the  image  of  vapoury  mist,  unsubstantial  in  eluding  sense- 
perception,  yet  vital  and  the  centre  of  all  vitality  ;  impressible  from 
without,  sometimes  projecting  itself  outwards  and  coming  into 
alliance  with  the  bodies  of  many  marvellous  creatures,  much  in  the 
same  way  as  the  soul  of  Batrace  is  represented  to  have  done  in  an 
Egyptian  tale,  known  to  be  3278  years  old.  As  a  sort  of  essential 
matter,  which  alone  the  ordinary  mind  can  embrace,  with  form, 
therefore,  and  essential  relation  to  space,  a  mysterious  essence  with 
spontaneity  within  itself,  it  is  sometimes  vaguely  described  as  an 
existence  distinct  from  self,  taking  refuge,  grotesquely  it  seems  to 
us,  in  oatcakes,  peeping  under  door-sills,  creeping  under  flagstones, 
sojourning  in  eggs,  emigrating  into  geese  and  ducks,  plunging  into 


92  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

oceans  and  overcoming  giants.     It  carried  its  habits  of  violence 
and  strife  along  with  it 

"  When  went  two  spirits  on  the  wind, 
And  fiercely  struggle  on  the  tossing  waves, 
Far  away  the  hunter  hears 
The  loud  and  lingering  noise  of  warring  ghosts." 

Not  seldom  do  we  find  the  soul  passing  rapidly  from  fishes  to 
birds,  and  thence  to  quadrupeds.  The  Welsh  Mdbinogion  says,  in 
this  reference,  "  There  is  nothing  in  which  I  have  not  been."  One 
thing  at  least  is  clear,  both  from  the  Welsh  and  Gaelic  Tales,  that 
the  people  who  invented  and  preserved  these  rugged  stories,  and  to 
whom  this  crumbled  down  poetry  belonged,  who  fabricated  aud 
dressed  them,  who  dreamed  over  their  recital,  and  who  loved  to 
reconstruct  their  imagery,  had  certainly  more  in  common  with  the 
eagle  and  the  fox,  more  sympathy  with  the  lower  part  of  creation, 
and  more  enduring  interest  in  the  purely  animal  part  of  life,  than 
modern  Highlanders  have.  If  animals  at  first  created  fear,  they 
next  attracted  sympathy.  Perhaps  the  gulf  has  been  widened  by 
the  vulgar  outcry  raised  by  anti-Darwinians  against  our  kindness 
to  the  lower  animals.  But  in  any  case,  these  Tales  point  to  an  age 
when  thought  was  narrow  and  confined,  when  expression  was  feeble, 
except  in  one  direction,  when  religious  conceptions  were  both  gross 
and  meagre,  when  the  personal  self  was  not  yet  regarded  as  the 
functional  factor,  which  alone  our  psychology  recognizes,  when 
the  vast  space  which  lies  between  the  ego  and  the  non-ego,  was 
looked  upon  as  an  unbroken  continuity  kindred  to  both,  and  actually 
was  a  mass  of  phantasmagoria  and  diversified  analogues  of  conscious 
experience,  when  man,  looking  upon  himself  with  a  mixture  of 
despair  and  wonder,  could  not,  even  if  he  dared,  face  the  problem 
of  his  dark  destiny,  when  his  sympathies  had  a  wider  area,  and 
when  he  would  feel  more  at  home  with  a  fox,  planning  some  depre- 
dation, than  with  a  Hegel  or  a  Huxley,  contemplating  the  meaning 
of  the  universe.  ,  , 

To  our  remote  ancestors  the  question  of  the  "Abyssmal  depths 
of  personality"  was  as  sealed  as  it  is  still  to  an  average  peasant, 
whose  idea  of  a  God  is  that  of  a  monster  man.  Historically  our 
image  of  the  great  material  world  is  earlier  than  our  interpretation 
of  its  meaning.  I  have  already  tried  to  show  what  the  Celtic  idea 
of  the  world  was.  Though  no  believer  in  the  authenticity  of 
M'Pherson's  Ossian,  there  are  several  cosmological  fragments  in  it, 
of  whose  antiquity  I  am  unable  to  doubt.  When  I  read  the  beau- 
tiful romance  of  .Nausica,  in  the  ninth  Book  of  the  Odessy,  I  find 


The  Cosmos  of  the  A  ncfeni  Gaels-  93 

myself  in  the  living  atmosphere  of  a  Grecian  isle  ;  in  going  through 
the  Georgics,  one  is  surrounded  with  the  life  and  scenery  of  old 
Italy.  Spenser  decks  the  most  idealistic  of  his  fairy  dells  with  the 
wayside  beauties  of  Elizabethan  England ;  Wordsworth  draws  his 
peasant  life  from  the  actual  habits  of  Westmoreland  ;  in  Tennyson 
we  find  the  perpetual  purling  of  Lincoln  or  midland  streams  ;  and 
Burns  draws  upon  peasant  life  in  Ayrshire  for  his  humour,  and  for 
his  peculiar  pathos.  And  so  I  conclude  the  grand  imagery  of 
Ossianic  literature  never  arose  out  of  the  bleak  valley  of  the  Spey, 
or  out  of  any  section  of  modern  European  life.  That  weird  canopy 
of  clouds,  sighing  winds,  and  thunderstorms,  those  scowling  cliffs 
with  their  spectral  visions,  are  both  old  and  of  the  west.  Only  on 
a  howling  night  off  the  Giant's  Causeway,  and  in  a  thunderstorm 
on  the  edge  of  Glen  Lennox,  or  in  looking  down  into  the  furious 
cauldron  of  the  Sannaig  Rocks,  or  when  facing  the  mists  of  dark 
Morven,  have  I  at  all,  and  even  then  feebly,  realised  some  of  the 
Ossianic  imagery,  or  been  able  to  transport  myself  into  its  actions 
and  fierce  struggles,  and  to  see  the  long  past  events  passing  vaguely 
before  me  in  its  strange  symbolism,  in  shadowy  outlines  of  the 
brave  and  the  fair ;  .maidens  purer  than  the  sun,  "  with  breasts 
whiter  than  the  foam  on  the  edge  of  the  moon,"  titanic  heroes  striv- 
ing for  glory,  amidst  scenes  in  which  years  rolled  darkly  past,  in 
which  the  great  ocean  poured  its  wrath  on  sterile  shores,  in  which 
winds  sighed  the  sigh  of  death,  and  ghosts  shrieked  aloud  "  in  the 
viewless  wind  of  the  cairn." 

As  might  be  expected,  all  this  is  obscured  by  the  common- 
place of  the  Tales,  where  we  deal  with  monsters  of  many  forms ; 
wraiths  with  one  pool-like  eye,  giants  standing  about  with  aspen 
woods  growing  out  of  repulsive  foreheads,  one-legged  ghosts  and 
Fioiis,  reminding  us  of  the  Polish  Piast,  generally  herculean,  but 
often  crafty.  Even  here,  however,  the  superhuman  contest  is 
often  prolonged  and  terrible.  Ian  struggled,  in  one  Tale,  with  a 
giant,  and  in  the  combat  they  made  a  "  boggy  bog  of  the  rocky 
rock,"  and,  as  they  fought  on,  their  feet  sank  deeply  into  the 
hardest  cliffs,  and  brought  wells  of  water  "  out  of  the  face  of  the 
hardest  rock."  In  the  Fingalians,  a  fragmentary  poemlet,  of  which 
several  versions  have  been  lost  and  of  which  several  are  still 
current,  the  action  is  really  a  national  struggle  personified. 
"  Patrick  of  sweetest  psalms "  finds  mention  here  ;  the  unlawful 
passion  of  Lochlin's  wife  for  a  Fingalian  hero  results  in  a  fierce 
national  combat,  and  "  four  score  and  five  thousand  mighty  men 
fell  by  the  hands  of  Carra  alone." 

We  cannot  lay  too  much  emphasis  on  the  fact,  however,  that  the 


94  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

popular  tales  of  all  nations  are  in  their  plot  and  base  very  much  alike. 
A  curious  illustration  of  this  met  me  last  year.  As  I  was  going  to 
see  the  interesting  ecclesiastical  ruins  of  Oronsay,  I  passed,  near 
the  south  end  of  Colonsay,  the  remains  of  an  old  chapel,  evidently 
of  Culdee  origin;  and  Mr.  M'Neil,  who  acted  as  my  guide  and 
whose  natural  intelligence  is  of  a  markedly  high  order,  related  a 
Tale  of  an  occurrence  connected  with  the  lonely  spot.  That  Tale 
was  in  substance,  certainly  in  idea,  the  Hunchback  Tale  of  Japan. 

A  very  large  portion  of  what  gives  much  of  its  charms  to  the 
peculiar  traditional  lore  of  the  Highlands  is  of  Norse  origin,  highly 
charged  with  Odinic  theology.  I  am  not  prepared  to  assert  that 
the  polytheism  of  the  Gaels  was  that  of  the  Scandinavians  ;  but  that 
the  former  went  after  many  and  strange  gods  seems  clear.  We  do 
not,  at  least  by  name,  find  Wuotan,  or  Donar,  or  Freja  in  any  Tale 
of  undoubted  authority;  the  elaborate  cosmogony  of  Icelandic  litera- 
ture has  no  equivalent  in  Gaelic ;  and  it  is  not  easy  to  trace  even 
any  influence  of  Skaldinic  origin.  And  yet  the  fierce  paganism,  to 
which  I  have  already  referred,  is  certainly  Norse.  I  cannot  agree 
either  with  those  who  deduce  the  triology,  Wuotan,  Fro,  and 
Donar,  of  the  Norse,  from  the  Christian  Trinity,  or  with  those  who, 
like  Phene,  discover  serpent  worship  and  the  idea  of  the  Trinity  in 
such  spots  as  the  serpentine  mound  at  Lochnell.  The  serpent  may 
have  been  worshipped  in  the  Highlands ;  the  boar  certainly  was, 
for  if  all  the  legends  and  tales  that  cluster  round  the  death  of 
Dermaid  have  any  meaning,  it  points  to  an  age  when  some  reformer 
endeavoured  to  introduce  a  higher  form  of  worship,  and  perished, 
as  most  true  reformers  have  done,  in  the  struggle  caused  by  his 
own  innovation.  All  social  salvation  is  through  suffering;  and 
from  the  beginning  of  the  world,  quite  as  much  as  with  the 
Hebrew  prophets  and  modern  reformers,  the  heralds  of  great  move- 
ments have  fallen  a  prey  either  to  the  blind  virulence  of  opposing 
doctrines,  or  to  the  force  of  these  movements  themselves. 

In  Glenorchy,  in  Kirkousland,  and  in  many  other  places,  I  have 
found  local  traces  of  Odinism.  The  story  of  the  Rider  of  Grianig 
is  distinctly  Odinic.  To  one  other  fact,  and  that  one  of  some 
significance,  I  refer  here.  In  all  old  literatures,  justice  is  really 
revenge.  It  was  always  the  old  story,  at  its  most  merciful  point, 
an  eye  for  an  eye,  and  a  tooth  for  a  tooth.  We  find  Byron,  in 
a  moment  of  wild  frenzy,  declaring  that  the  greatest  curse  that  he 
could  inflict  on  any  mortal  was  to  forgive  him.  In  this  utterance 
he  expresses  the  spirit  of  Paganism.  Christianity  makes  forgiveness, 
and  Paganism  makes  revenge,  a  virtue.  If  that  be  so,  if  the  chief 
argument  against  Mr.  M'Pherson  is  the  liberal  introduction  of 


The  Cosmos  of  the  Ancient  Gaels.  95 

generosity  to  foes  in  his  poems,  even  still  the  Highland  idea  of 
law  is  not  justice  but  revenge,  which  excludes  forgiveness.  When 
M'Phersou  ascribes  these  virtues  of  high  generosity  and  the  spirit 
of  forgiveness  to  his  valorous  heroes,  he  at  least  is  guilty  of  working 
through  the  aid  of  anachronism,  whilst  he  proves  himself  to  have 
but  little  insight  into  the  great  social  and  spiritual  movements  of 
North  west  Europe  during  the  early  Christian  centuries. 

Who  of  us  does  not  look,  perhaps  with  some  degree  of  fondness, 
to  our  younger  days,  when  imagination  greedily  snatched  the 
marvellous  and  the  impossible,  and  when  it  fed  upon  nursery  stories 
that  really  belonged  to  Odinic  literature  1  I  have  even  now 
distinct  recollections  of  these  days  of  luxuriant  marvel,  when  the 
grand  old  stories  of  the  Valhalla,  which  circulated  in  the  north  of 
Scotland  as  freely  as  on  the  flats  of  Brandenburgh,  appeared  to  be 
histories  and  not  myths,  records  of  actual  facts  with  the  personal 
interest  superadded,  and  not  as  allegories  in  which  the  workings  of 
outer  law  were  recorded.  The  marvellous  steed,  the  sword,  and 
cap  were  facts  to  me  then.  They  are  only  rude  symbols  now. 
Swiftness  and  darkness,  the  power  of  rapid  execution  and  that  of 
concealment ;  the  eight-legged  steed  that  went  on  the  wings  of  the 
wind  (the  Germanic  Sleipner),  and  the  cap  of  darkness  (the  kappa 
of  the  Nibelungen — the  equivalent  of  the  a-eraeroj  of  Mercury  and 
of  Macbeth's  helmet  of  the  night]  are  still  with  us,  though  in  alien 
forms.  This  power  of  baffling  foes,  not  by  open  contest  and  fair 
fight,  finds  its  equivalent  in  the  nineteenth  century,  a  Freeman  would 
tell  us,  in  the  contortions  of  diplomacy,  and,  as  we  need  not  be 
informed  by  any  one,  in  the  speech  that  conceals  thought,  in  the 
darkness  that  covers  the  designs  of  the  wicked,  in  the  craft  and 
cunning  that  I  have  already  shown  to  be  a  leading  factor  in  Celtic 
morals,  and  which  were  not  condemned  but  applauded  by  the 
Celtic  conscience. 

All  nursery  rhymes,  and  all  popular  customs,  handed  down 
from  generation  to  generation  carry  a  deep  underlying  meaning  as 
survivals  of  forgotten  religions,  remnants  of  old  creeds,  broken 
fragments  of  ceremonies  in  which  the  adult  population  of  byegone 
times  solemnly  took  part.  A  few  of  these  still  retain  something  of 
the  ghostly  and  much  of  the  quaint.  Dances,  little  ditties,  and 
rhythmic  movements  now  contemptible  to  all  outside  the  four  walls 
of  the  nursery,  are  crumbled  down  relics  of  imposing  processions 
and  great  religious  ceremonies  which  our  Pagan  ancestors,  on  some 
great  day  of  sacrifice  or  worship,  performed  around  the  rude  clachan 
or  the  sacrificial  stone.  We  have  still  a  Clachan  an  De  's  airde,  an 
undoubted  relic  of  polytheism.  Eound  that,  as  round  many 


96  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

others,  rude  voices  once  chanted  rude  hymns  to  the  Supreme  God, 
whose  vengeance  was  invoked  in  frantic  prayers,  and  whose  favour 
was  propitiated  by  human  sacrifices.  If  we  assume  that  in  ruder 
ages,  with  ruder  religions,  the  priests  were  worthy  of  their  profes- 
sion, we  may  also  assume  that  these  ceremonies  were  invested  with 
a  vast  amount  of  unnecessary  mystery,  and  carried  through  with 
the  aid  of  much  trickery  and  unscrupulous  pretence,  out  of  which 
we  can  now  extract  only  the  symbol  of  a  symbol,  inasmuch  as 
their  rude  ritual  with  its  mysteries,  enigmas,  riddles,  and  general 
quackery,  represented  vaguely  that  contorted  truth,  and  that  all- 
reaching  creed 

"  Whose  faith  has  centre  everywhere, 
Nor  cares  to  fix  itself  in  form." 

Diodorus  describes  the  Celts  as  being  fond  of  enigmas,  revel- 
ling in  hyperbole,  and  with  an  overwhelming  contempt  for  all 
others.  Let  us  see  how  far  his  description  is  supported  by  our  ex- 
isting fragments.  Compelled  to  think  keenly,  to  philosophize,  the 
Gaels  appear  to  have  possessed  a  criterion  of  truth  ;  but  judged  by 
Mr.  Campbell's  Tales,  they  had  no  organ  of  discovery,  at  least 
consciously  or  definable.  Hence  their  logic  developed  itself  into  a 
series  of  concrete  quibbles,  intricate  riddles,  quaint  puzzles,  and 
meagre  fallacies,  occupying  the  borderland  between  ascertained 
fact  and  possible  truth.  There  -is  much  in  the  Tales  to  suggest 
Taleisin's  Invocation  of  the  wind  : 

"  The  strong  creature  from  before  the  flood, 

"Without  flesh,  without  bones,  without  head,  without  feet, 
****** 

Without  age,  without  season, 

It  is  always  of  the  same  age  as  the  age  of  the  seasons." 

What  we  call  in  logic  the  Law  of  Contradiction  was  certainly,  in 
some  form,  known  to  the  preservers  of  the  stories  ;  and  in  the 
germ  we  come  across  no  inconsiderable  amount  of  sound  philosophy 
disguised  in  proverbs,  riddles,  and  aristic  problems.  If  we  translate 
the  abstract  into  one  of  its  concrete  forms,  we  may  meet  much  with 
which  we  are  familiar  in  our  text-books  on  reasoning.  "  De  's  gile  na 
sneachd  ?  Tha  'nfhirinn,"  expresses  in  a  rough,  semi-concrete  manner 
Descartes'  Criterion  of  Certainty  and  Clearness  as  the  highest  test  of 
truth.  The  Gaels  never  got  much  beyond  that  primitive  kind  of 
reasoning  which  contents  itself  with  concrete  quibbles,  gnomes, 
and  fallacies,  which  is  descriptive  of  natural  or  emblematical  of 
real  objects,  and  which  was  as  different  as  the  poles  are  asunder 


The  Cosmos  of  the  A  ncient  Gaels.  97 

from  the  puns  and  verbal  ingenuity  that  are  still  used  to  excite 
curiosity  amongst  the  Highlanders.  The  Gaelic  riddles  are  not  un- 
like the  Greek  Griphi,  and  many  of  them  are  in  the  same  strain 
as  that  propounded  by  the  Sphinx  to  CEdipus  : — "  What  is  that 
which  goes  on  four  legs  in  the  morning,  on  two  at  mid-day,  and  on 
three  in  the  evening? "  Thus  : — "  What  is  that  which  the  Creator 
never  saw,  which  kings  see  but  seldom,  and  that  I  see  daily  1 "  It 
is  also  noteworthy  that  most  of  the  fallacies  belong  to  the  class 
called  ambiguous  middle.  The  following  occur  frequently,  and  are 
typical  of  the  kind  of  reasoning  that  one  still  hears  in  the  north- 
west : — "  The  beard  is  older  than  the  man,  because  it  grows  on  the 
goat  before  the  man."  "  There  is  a  kind  of  tree  which  is  neither 
bent  nor  straight."  "  One  ladder  can  reach  heaven — if  it  is  long." 
"  If  Fionn  were  as  swift  as  the  sun  he  could  go  round  the  world  in 
a  day."  "  I  can  hold  one  egg  in  my  hand  ;  and  yet  twelve  strong 
men  with  ropes  cannot  hold  it."  "  The  pupil  of  the  eye  is  not 
bigger  than  a  barleycorn,  and  yet  it  covers  the  table  of  a  king." 
"  What  has  no  tongue  tells  no  tales."  "  Smoke  is  higher  than  the 
king's  palace."  "What  is  false  to  me  is  false  to  you."  "The 
first  nine  are  my  father's  brothers,  the  second  nine  my  mother's, 
the  third  nine  are  my  sons,  and  they  are  all  my  husband's  sons." 
I  expand  a  specimen  syllogistically  : — 

What  more  than  covers  the  king's  table  is.  larger  than  it ; 
The  pupil  of  the  eye  more  than  covers  the  king's  table, 
But  a  barleycorn  is  at  least  as  large  as  the  pupil  of  the  eye, 
Therefore  the  barleycorn  covers  the  king's  table. 

To  a  like  effect  are  many  of  the  Gaelic  proverbs.  "  Worthless  is 
a  tale  without  warrant "  is  a  favourable  specimen  of  the  more  practical 
logical  maxims.  These  were  not  so  subtle  or  so  intricate  as  the 
eristic  of  Zeno  the  Eleatic,  or  the  puzzles  of  Diodorus.  In  spite  of 
their  fragmentary  character,  however,  with  all  their  fantastical 
setting,  and  their  tendency  towards  sophistry,  they  contain,  if  not 
a  distinct  recognition,  at  least  a  dim  conception  of  a  monistic 
system  of  inherence  and  sequence  of  events,  or  a  kind  of  running 
up  of  causality,  in  all  its  forms,  into  the  mysterious  originative 
power  of  mind ;  but  nowhere  do  they  project  blind  causation  as  an 
explanation  either  of  change  or  being.  Cause  was  traced  back  to 
some  impulse  in  personal  human  mind,  or  some  analogue  of  it ;  the 
whole  universe  was  ultimately  resolved  thus  into  some  effort  of 
mind.  As  the  energetic  Professor  Blackie  translates  an  idea  of 
Empodocles : — 

7 


98  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

"  Cause  never  dwelt  in  aught  of  sensuous  kind, 
Sole  first  and  last  of  all  that  was  and  is  and  yet  shall  be 
In  heaven  or  earth  is  mind." 

One  instance  of  the  concrete  Gaelic  dealing  with  causality  may 
be  given  here.  The  characters  are  Murachaig,  an  industrious  youth, 
who  goes  forth  to  gather  fruit,  and  Menachaig,  a  lazy  drone,  who 
stays  at  home  and  eats  it.  The  former  resolves  to  stop  this  pro- 
cedure, and  to  correct  his  brother's  vicious  habit.  He  therefore 
goes  to  the  wood  in  quest  of  a  rod  suitable  for  flagellating  pur- 
poses. But  the  axe  was  blunt,  and  Murachaig  had  to  sharpen  it. 
Consequently  he  had  to  follow  cause  into  effect  as  follows.  I 
give  only  a  fragment : — • 

Murachaig  [the  first  cause]  discovered  a  baking  woman, 

Who  gave  a  cake  to  a  young  lad, 

Who  therefore  gave  straw  to  the  cow, 

Which  therefore  gave  milk  to  the  cat, 

Which  therefore  hunted  a  mouse, 

Which  therefore  buttered  the  dog's  feet, 

Which  therefore  chased  the  deer, 

Which  therefore  ran  to  the  water, 

Which  therefore  was  discovered, 

Which  therefore  softened  the  stone, 

Which  therefore  sharpened  the  axe, 

Which  therefore  cut  the  rod, 

Which  beat  the  lazy  Menachaig. 

This  is  certainly  a  very  rudirnental  form  of  reasoning ;  but  it  is  a 
very  fair  specimen  of  the  logic  of  the  Tales. 

To  say  that  conscience,  individual,  social,  and  general,  is  a  grow- 
ing faculty,  is  only  to  admit  that  progress  is  possible.  That  the 
range  of  the  old  Gaelic  conscience,  both  of  the  individual  and  social, 
was  narrow,  and  that  its  verdict,  tested  by  purer  principles,  was  im- 
moral, I  have  tried  to  show  in  my  former  paper.  The  doctrine  con- 
sists in  facts  and  in  stories,  like  that  of  the  poor  and  rich  brother 
(II.  pp.  30-2),  of  which  the  morale  is  neither  lofty  nor  pure. 
Though  it  does  not  differ  much  from  the  treachery  of  Jacob,  it 
wants  the  charms  of  the  sly  trickery  of  Ulysses.  Here  unblushing 
roguery  is  triumphant,  and  success,  through  whatsoever  means  ob- 
tained, is  the  lesson  taught.  Almost  everywhere  ingenuity  is  the 
passport  to  success,  against  even  the  resources  of  the  great  world  of 
giants  and  monsters.  In  one  story,  a  large  giant  is  represented  as 
desirous  to  kill  his  son-in-law.  Aware  of  his  danger,  the  bride  and 


The  Cosmos  of  the  A  ncient  Gaels.  99 

bridegroom  flee,  the  giant  pursues,  and  as  hope  is  vanishing,  the 
inexplicable  comes  to  the  aid  of  the  unfortunate  couple ;  they  some- 
how succeed  in  taking  out  of  the  ear  of  the  filly  that  carried  them 
twenty  miles  of  thick  thorn,  twenty  miles  of  hard  rock,  and  twenty 
miles  of  deep  sea,  which  they  successively  cast  behind,  and  thus 
escape  from  the  pursuing  monster.  Cuchullin  is  the  strongest  of 
heroes.  But  Fionn  is  swift,  full  of  wily  resource,  and  ready  in  in- 
vention. He  has  all  the  cunning  of  a  modern  provincial  attorney, 
and  can  heckle  and  peddle  like  a  Jew,  as,  for  instance,  he  shows  in 
his  cautious  cross-questioning  of  the  affianced.  The  serpent  is  as  fre- 
quently an  emblem  of  cunning  as  it  is  of  wisdom.  The  soothsayer, 
with  his  incantations  and  spells,  and,  ill  OUT  opinion,  quackery, 
plays  always  an  important  role  ;  scarcely  a  hill  or  loch  but  has  its 
petty  deity,  to  whose  malicious  interference  calamities  and  diseases 
are  ascribed,  and  whose  malevolence  must  be  thwarted  by  the  skilful 
art  of  the  magician.  A  central  doctrine  of  the  whole  mythology,  as 
Mr.  Campbell  points  out,  is  the  superiority  of  skill  to  might.  Valour 
is  greatly  to  be  desired,  but  wisdom  is  higher  than  valour.  A  quaint 
tale  illustrates  how  cunning  overcomes  force,  even  in  the  superna- 
tural. A  giant  thirsts  for  more  blood  ;  but  Maol  a'  Chliobain  saves 
herself  by  sheer  resource  ;  she  tries  to  escape  ;  and  the  giant  follows 
in  hot  pursuit.  "  And  the  sparks  of  the  fire  that  the  giant  brought 
out  of  the  rocks  with  his  fist  struck  Maol  a'  Chliobain  in  the  back 
and  burned  her  not,  whilst  the  sparks  which  her  heels  struck  out  of 
the  rocks  smote  the  giant  in  the  face  and  wounded  him  sorely." 
They  came  to  the  running  water,  always  a  barrier  fatal  to  spirits  of 
evil,  and  the  giant  could  get  no  further. 

But  I  close  in  the  meantime.  I  have  left  many  questions  of 
pressing  interest  almost  untouched.  The  part  played  by  second- 
sight  in  the  mythology  of  the  Celts,  the  meaning  of  marvellous 
supernatural  interference  in  human  affairs,  the  respect  attached  to 
the  virtues  of  valour  and  fidelity,  and  many  other  points  of  value 
to  the  student  of  the  Celtic  Cosmogony,  and  the  alien  code  of 
ethics,  must  be  left  for  future  consideration.  The  old  mythology  and 
tales  do  not  consist  of  facts  that  can  be  wrested  into  modern  ethical 
ideas.  They  are,  nevertheless,  whether  we  can  read  their  teaching 
aright  or  not,  relics  of  the  long  forgotten  past ;  exhumed  fossils 
telling  strange  histories  of  a  world  otherwise  absolutely  gone.  They 
are,  moreover,  pleasing  links  connecting  us  with  a  near  period, 
now  also  gone,  a  period  when  these  stories  were  told  around  the 
hearth  in  many  a  glen  which  is  now  a  melancholy  waste,  when  they 
were  regarded  as  the  exclusive  property  of  some  imposing  patriarch 
on  the  verge  of  the  grave,  when  their  recital  created  awe  and  re- 


100  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

verence,  and  when  they  were  believed  in  as  firmly  as  the  latest  de- 
cree from  the  Vatican.  And  though  some  of  us  now  look  upon 
them  as  the  mere  phantom  of  a  race 

"  Uprising  from  the  wild  green  sea  of  waves, 
Drifting  with  a  low  moan  of  mystery," 

they  teach  their  lesson  as  emphatically  to  the  most  practical,  as 
well  as  to  the  keenest  visionary  amongst  us.  That  lesson,  I  think, 
is  expressed  well  by  the  author  of  Balder  the  Beautiful : — 

"  Read  these  faint  runes  of  mystery, 

Oh  Celt,  at  home  and  o'er  the  sea  ! 
The  bond  is  loosed,  the  poor  are  free, 
The  world's  great  future  rests  with  thee. 

"  Till  the  soil,  bid  cities  rise, 

Be  strong,  oh  Celt,  be  rich,  be  wise ! 
But  still  with  those  divine  grave  eyes, 
Eespect  the  realm  of  mysteries." 

TTHMAY,  1879. 

At  the  meeting  on  this  date,  the  Secretary,  Mr.  William 
Mackenzie,  read  the  following  paper  : — 

LEAVES  FROM  MY  CELTIC  PORTFOLIO. 
IV. 

In  Volume  VII.  of  these  Transactions,  two  series  of  selections 
from  my  Celtic  Portfolio  appeared.  During  the  present  session,  I 
gave  a  third  series,*  and  to-night  I  give  a  fourth.  In  pre- 
senting you  with  these  "  Leaves,"  suffice  it  to  say  that  they  are 
selected  at  random  from  my  Celtic  gleanings  during  the  past. 

I  will  in  the  first  place  give  you  two  good  old  songs,  which  the 
Rev.  Alexander  Cameron,  of  Glengarry,  has  kindly  sent  me.  Mr. 
Cameron  took  them  down  from  the  recitation  of  a  Mrs.  Macrae — a 
Kintail  woman — who  died  during  the  present  year  (1879),  at  the 
age  of  80.  They  were,  according  to  her,  composed  by  Iain  Lorn. 
The  bard  was  at  the  time,  she  said,  in  the  service  of  a  certain  Alais- 
dair  MacRath.  Murdo,  one  of  Macrae's  sons,  was  lost  in  the  hills, 
and  search  was  made  for  him  and  continued  until,  after  fifteen  days, 
his  body  was  found  in  Gleann-Lic,  at  the  foot  of  a  large  rock  locally 

*  Vide  page  18. 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio.  101 

known  as  "  A'  charraig."  On  each  of  the  fifteen  days  they  were  in 
search  of  Murdo,  Iain  Lorn  is  said  to  have  composed  a  song.  The 
references  in  the  second  song  to  the  grave,  &c.,  indicate  that  it  was 
composed  after  the  body  was  found  and  buried,  and  not  during  the 
search.  That  these  songs  were  composed  by  Iain  Lorn  cannot  be 
easily  proved,  but  whoever  the  author,  they  are  well  worthy  of  being 
recorded  here.* 

Gleann-Lic,  Mrs.  Macrae  knew  very  well,  for  her  husband  and 
she  lived  in  it  for  four  years — "  Mar  uidhe  urchair  gunna  bho'n  aite 
anns  an  d'fhuaradh  corp  Mhurchaidh  Mhic  Alasdair.  Theireadh  iad 
gu  dearbh,"  said  Mrs.  Macrae,  "  gu'm  biodh  feadhainn  a'  faicinn  's  ag 
cluinntinn  rud  ann."  Especially  was  the  "  Carraig"  and  a  path 
that  led  through  or  past  it,  said  to  be  haunted.  Her  own  husband, 
indeed,  had  proof  of  it,  for  one  morning  in  the  end  of  harvest,  in 
the  beginning  of  a  snow-storm,  he  and  an  assistant  were  taking 
sheep  down  from  the  heights  "an  deigh  dha  sneachd  6g  a  chuir. 
Fhuair  iad  an  lorg  mhoir  chruinn  ud  air  an  t-sneachda,  agus  mar  gu'm 
biodh  sp6gan  fada  'tighinn  inach  air  an  taobh  chuil !  Bha  fada  fada 
eadar  na  h-uile  lorg,  agus  cha  robh  iad  ach  mar  gu'm  biodh  neach 
air  aona  chois  a'  toirt  gamagan  uabhasach  ! "  It  was  in  this  inte- 
resting locality  that  the  body  was  found,  at  the  foot  of  a  precipice. 

"  Bha  figheadair  ann  an  Cr6  Chinntaile  aig  an  uair  ud  ris  an 
abairte  '  Am  Breabadair  bg ;'  agus  bha  nadur  cho  fiadhaich  crosd 
ann  a's  gu'm  biodh  paidhir  dhagachan  aige  na  chois  daonnan — agus 
iad  nan  laidhe  (Ian  urchair)  air  a'  bheart  'nuair  a  bhiodh  e  'figheadh." 
This  valorous  weaver  was  firmly  convinced  that  it  was  the  "  Droch 
Aon"  himself  that  put  Murchadh  Mac  Alasdair  "  out  of  the  way" — 
(as  an  rathad) — and  therefore,  loading  his  pistols  with  a  silver 
coin  instead  of  lead — (Oir  their  iad  nach  dearg  a  chaochladh  air  an 
Fhear  Mhillidh) — he  went  to  the  place  where  the  body  was  found, 
and  lay  in  wait  for  fourteen  days — "  'dh-fheuchainn  an  tachradh  an 
Droch  Aon  air,  gus  am  marbhadh  e  e  !  "  But  the  Breabadair  6g 
was  disappointed  and  returned  home.  It  was  commonly  believed 
that  Murchadh  Mac  Alasdair  had,  during  his  walk  in  the  hill,  found 
a  man — a  "  Glasach" — stealing  his  goats.  Having  taken  him 
prisoner,  Murdo  was  bringing  him  home  it  is  supposed,  and  that  as 
they  were  passing  along  the  "  Cadha,"  at  the  "  Carraig,"  the 

*  Since  writing  the  above,  I  made  several  enquiries  as  to  the  authorship.  The 
circumstances  attending  Murchadh  Mac  Alasdair's  death  appear  to  be  pretty 
well  known  in  the  West,  but  I  failed  to  ascertain  the  date.  Iain  Lorn  witnessed 
the  battle  of  Inverlochy  in  1645,  and  sang  the  praises  of  the  victorious  army. 
He  died  in  1710.  Were  Murchadh  Mac  Alasdair  and  the  bard  contemporaries  ? 
One  seanachaidh  informs  me  that  the  elegies  were  composed  by  Murdo  s  brother 
— another  says  by  his  sgalag.  Was  Iain  Lorn  the  sgaLig  ? 


1 02  Gaelic  Society  of  In  verness. 

Glasach,*  pitched  Murdo  over  the  precipice  at  the  foot  of  which  his 
body  was  found.  This  is,  indeed,  all  the  more  probable,  added  the 
old  lady,  as  a  certain  Glasach,  on  his  deathbed,  was  understood  to 
have  made  some  confession  regarding  Murchadh  Mac  Alasdair's 
death ;  but  the  person  to  whom  the  secret  was  confided,  would 
never  divulge  it.  The  following  are  the  songs  : — 


Och  nan  ochan  's  mi  sgith, 
'Falbh  nan  cnoc  so  ri  sion, 
Gur  neo-shocrach  a'  sgrlob  tha  'san  diithaich  ; 

Thu  bhi,  Mhurchaidh,  air  chall 

Gun  aon  chuimse  c'  e  'm  ball ; 

Sud  an  urchair  bha  caillte  dhuinne. 

Och  mo  chlisgeadh  's  mo  chas, 
Gun  tu  'n  ciste  chaol  chlair, 
Le  fios  aig  do  chairdean  ciuirrt'  air. 

'S  beart  nach  guidhinn  do  m'  dheoin 
Ach  na  ludhaig  Dia  oirnn, 
Do  chul  buidhe  bhi  ch6ir  na  h-uireach. 

Slan  le  gliocas,  's  le  ceill 
'S  a  bhi  measail  ort  fhein, 
'S  nach  eil  fhios  ciod  e  'n  t-eug  a  chiurr  thu. 

Slan  le  treine  na  seoid, 
Slan  le  gleusdachd  duin'  6ig, 
'N  uair  nach  d'  fheud  thu  bhi  beo  gun  churam. 

Slan  le  binneas  nam  bard, 
Slan  le  grinneas  nan  lamh  ; 
Co  ni  mire  ri  d'  mhnaoi,  no  sugradh  ? 

Slan  le  fiadhach  nam  beann, 
Slan  le  iasgach  nan  allt — 
Co  chuir  iarunn  an  crann  cho  cliuiteach  1 

*  My  friend,  Mr.  Colin  Chisholm,  assures  me  that  this  dastardly  act  was  not 
committed  by  a  Glasach.    He  usually  heard  it  attributed  to  a  Glenmoriston  man. 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio.  103 

Do  luchd-faire*  gim  fhiamh, 
Bho'n  bha  d'  air'  orra  riamh — 
Nochd  cha  ghearain  am  fiadh  a  churam. 

Faodaidh  an  earbag  an  noclid, 
Eadar  mhaoisleach  a's  bhoc 
Cadal  samhach  air  cnoc  gun  churam. 

Faodas  ise  bhi  slan, 
'Siubhal  iosal  a's  aird, 
Bho'n  a  chailleadh  an  t-armunn  cliuiteach. 

'S  ait  le  binnich  nan  allt,t 
'Chor  's  gu'n  cinnich  an  clann, 
Gu'n  do  mhilleadh  na  bh'ann  de  d'  fhiidar. 

Cha  b'e  d'  fhasach  gun  ni, 
No  d'  fhearann-aitich  chion  all, 
Ach  sgeul  nach  binn  e  ri  sheinn  's  an  duthaich. 

Och  nan  och  a's  mi  sgith, 
Falbh  nan  cnoc  so  ri  sion, 
Gur  neo-shocrach  a'  sgrlob  tha  'san  duthaich. 


n. 


'S  i  sealg  Geamhraidh  Ghlinne-Lic 

A  dh'  fhag  greann  oirnn  trie  a's  gruaim, 

Mu'n  6g  nach  robh  teann  'sa  bha  glic, 
'S  an'  teampull  fo'n  lie  's  an'  uaigh. 

A'  cheud  Aoine  na  Gheamhradh  fhuar, 
'S  daor  a  phaigh  sinn  buaidh  na  sealg, 

An  t-6g  bu  chraobhaiche  snuagh, 
Na  aonar  uainn  a's  fhaotainn  marbh. 

Tional  na  sglre  gu  leir, 

Ei  siubhal  sleibh,  's  ri  falbh  bheann, 
Fad  sglos  nan  coig  latha  deug, 

'S  am  fear  dlreach  treun  air  chall. 

*  This  refers  to  the  deer, 
t  The  roe-deer. 


104  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Murchadh  donn-gheal  mo  run, 

Bu  mhln-suil  's  bu  leannan  mnaoidh, 

A'  ghnuis  anns  an  robh  am  ball-seirc, 
'S  a  bha  tearc  air  thapadh  laimh. 

Chuala  mise  clarsach  theud, 

Fiodhall  a's  beus  ag  co-sheinn — 

Cha  chuala  a's  cha  chluinn  gu  brath, 
Ceol  na  b'fhearr  na  do  bheul  binn. 

Bu  tu  marbhaich'  'bhalla-bhric  bhain, 

Le  morbh  caol,  fada,  geur ; 
Le  cuilbheir  bhristeadh  tu  cnaimh, 

'S  gu'm  bu  shilteach  fo  d'  laimh  na  fe'idh  ! 

'Bhean  uasal  a  thug  dhuit  gaol, 

Nach  bi  chaoidh  na  h-uaigneas  slan, 

'S  truagh  le  mo  chluasan  a  gaoir, 

Luaithead  's  a  sgaoil  an  t-aog  an  snaim. 

'o  tursach  do  chinneadh  nior  deas 
Ga  d'  shireadh  an  ear  's  an  iar, 

'S  an  t-og  a  b'f  hiughantaich  beachd 
Ki  slios  glinne  marbh  's  an  t-sliabh. 

Tha  Crathaich  nam  buailtean  b6 

Air  an  sgaradh  ro-mh6r  mu  d'  eug — 

Do  thoir  as  a  bheatha  so  6g 

A  ghaisgich  nan  corn  's  nan  ceud. 

'S  tuirseach  do  sheachd  braithrean  graidh, 
Am  pearson  gu  h-ard  a  leugh, 

Thug  e,  ge  tuigseach  a'  cheird, 
Aona  bharr-tuirs'  air  each  gu  leir. 

Bho  thus  dhiubh  Donnchadh  nam  pios, 
Gillecriosd,  a's  dithis  do'n  chl^ir, 

Fearchar  agus  Ailean  Donn, 

Uisdean  a  bha  trom  na  d'  dheigh. 

Gur  tuirseach  do  gheala  bhean  6g, 
'S  i  'sileadh  nan  deoir  le  gruaidh, 

'S  a'  spionadh  a  fuilt  le  de6in, 

'8ior  chumha  nach  beo  do  shnuagh. 


Leaves  from  my  Geliic  Portfolio.  105 

'S  math  am  fear-rannsachaidk  an  t-aog, 

'Se  'm  maor  e  a  dh-iarras  gu  mion  ; 
Bheir  e  leis  an  t-og  gun  ghiamh, 

'S  fagaidh  e  'm  fear  liath  ro  shean. 


The  next  song — Turns  Aoughais  do'n  Ghealaich — is  serio-comic 
in  its  nature.  The  friend  who  favoured  me  with  it  sent  the  follow- 
ing history  of  it : — 

Ann  an  Gleann-Eileachaig,  shuas  aig  ceann  Loch-Longa,  an 
Ciuntaile,  bha  uair-eigin  a  comhnaidh  dithis  ghillean.  'Se  Aonghas 
Mac-'ille-mhaoil  a  b'  ainm  do  dh-fear  diubh,  agus  a  chionn  's  gu'm 
biodh  e  'cumail  a  cheann  ro  dhireach  agus  a1  sealltainn  suas  theireadh 
cuid  "  Aonghas  dlroach"  ris,  agus  cuid  eile  "  Aonghas  na  Gealaich." 
'S  e  Uisdean  Mac-Cullach  a  bh'  air  an  fhear  eile,  agus  bho'n 
bha  e  crubach  a's  'na  thaillear  theireadh  iad  "  An  Taillear 
Crubach"  ris.  Cha  robh  aon  neach  anns  a'  choimhearsnachd 
do  nach  d'rinu  "  An  Taillear  Crubach  "  6ran ;  agus  air  "Aonghas 
na  Gealaich"  gu  sonruichte,  cha  'n  fhaigheadh  e  cothrom  's  am 
bith  nach  biodh  e  sas  ann.  Bha  Aonghas  an  sud  oidhche  air 
bal-dannsaidh,  agus  'n  uair  thainig  e  dhachaidh  bhuail  a  mhathair 
air  trod  ris,  a'  cumail  mach  gu'n  robh  tuilleadh  's  a  ch6ir  de'n  uisge- 
bheatha  aige.  An  uair  thuirt  i  so  ris,  an  aite  dha  dhol  a  chadal  's 
ann  a  ghabh  e  mach  le  'thuadh  a  ghearradh  connaidh,  agus  air  dha 
gnothachan  a  chuir  ceart  an  sin,  dh'  fhalbh  e,  gun  tilleadh  dhach- 
aidh, gu  ruig  an  Tigh-ban.  A  chionn  nach  d'  innis  e  c'aite  an 
robh  e  'dol  agus  nach  d'  thainig  e  dhachaidh  fad  na  h-ath 
oidhche  th6isich  a  chairdean  agus  uile  mhuinntir  a'  bhaile 
air  a  shireadh  air  feadh  na  bruaich  le  lochrain  agus  soluis.  "  Ge 
b'e  c'aite  an  robh  thus'  Aonghais,  cha  b'  fhada  gus  an  d'  thainig 
thu  beo  slan,  fallain,  dhachaidh  leat  fhein  agus  do  cheann  cho 
dtreach  'sa  bha  e  rianih"  ;  agus  's  e  bh'  ann  gu'n  d'rinn  an  "  Taillear 
Crubach"  an  t-6ran  so  a  leanas  air  : — 

Gur  mis'  tha  fo  mhulad, 

Bho  'n  chailleadh  an  t-fhiiiian  deas  6g, 
Agus  ceann-ard  na  fine, 

Cloinn-'ic-mhaoilein  ga  d'  shireadh  's  tu  beo  ; 
Tha  do  chiste  ga  sabhadh, 

'S  iomadh  fear  a  ta  'fasgadh  nan  dorn, 
'S  tha  do  leannan  gun  eiridh 

Ach  an  d'  fhuair  i  ort  sgeul  bho  na  Chro. 


106  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

'S  trie  mi  'smaointinn,  a  ghaisgich, 

Dh'fhalbh  a  shraid  Bhaile-chaisteil  an  tuim, 
Dh'fhag  sud  luasgan  air  m'  aigne 

Chuir  mi  iomral  air  cadal  na  h-oidhch' ; 
Bho'n  a  chailleadh  tu,  Aonghais, 

Bheir  mi  greis  air  bhi  'g  iomradh  do  loinn, 
'S  e  dh'fhag  muladach  m'  inntinn, 

Bhi  ga  d'  shireadh  feadh  fhrlthean  a'  Ghaill. 

Gas  a  shiubhal  na  m6inteich  ! 

Agus  sealgair  a'  ghebidh  air  an  t-snamh  ! 
Mar  ri  ialltan  a's  lachan — 

Leat  bu  mhiann  bhi  ga'n  caitheamh  dhe  d'  laimh  ; 
'S  iomadh  fear  tha  bochd,  traagh  dheth, 

Bho'n  thug  thu  'n  car  suas  chon  a'  Mhaim, 
Agus  fear  tha  gun  ghluasad — 

'S  ann  diubh  Frisealach  ruadh  an  Tigh-bhain  ! 

'S  tha  Mac-'uireach-Dhomh'll*  duilich 

Bho'n  a  dh'  fhalbh  thu  'm  "  balloon"  can  sgiath, 
Air  an  astar  nach  till  thu — 

Ghabh  thu  seachad  os-clnn  Loch-nan-ian, 
Gabh  thu  'n  rathad  a  b'  airde, 

Ach  am  faice'  tu  c'aite  an  robh  'ghrian — 
Gur  e  tilleadh  a  b'  fhearr  leat 

'N  uair  a  dh'  fhairich  thu  gailich  nan  nial. 

Dh'fhalbh  Aonghas  's  a'  mhaduinn, 

Gus  a'  chraobh  'bh'anns  a'  ghealaich  a  bhuain, 
Gus  a  gearradh,  no  splonadh — 

Bha  e  'g  radh,  'n  uair  a  ghiaraich  e  'thuadh  ; 
Bha  e  'siubhal  fad  seachduin 

Anns  an  t-slighe  bha  drabhasach  buan, 
'S  mu'n  do  smuainich  e  tilleadh, 

Bha  na  speuran  ga  mhilleadh  le  fuachd. 

Thuirt  am  fear  bha  gu  h-ard  ris, — 

"  Co  as  a  thainig  an  sonn  ? 
Cha  bhi  do  shaothair  gun  phaidheadh, 

Ged  tha  mis'  agus  m'  fhardach  gle  16m  ; 

*  Mac-uireach-Dhomh?ll  was  the  father  of  Angus's  sweetheart. 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio.  107 

Bha  mi  roiinhe  ga  gearradh 

'S  tha  mi  nise  ga  faire  gu  tr6m, 
Tha  mo  Icabaidh  gun  dlon  ann 

'S  mi  fo  shileadh  nam  miar  aig  a  bonn." 

Labhair  Aonghas  gu  sughmhor — 

"  Ma  ghearras  tu  chraobh  bi'dh  tu  paidht', 
Thug  mi  fada  ga  sireadh, 

'S  chuir  i  eis  air  mo  phiseach  gu  brath  ; 
Thug  mi  corr  a's  seachd  bliadhna 

Eadar  gu  h-iosal  's  gu  h-ard, 
'S  ma  's  e  tall'  e  'm  beil  aoibhneas 

'Leig  thu  mise  seal  oidhche  'na  d'  aite  1 " 

Sin  'n  uair  thuirt  am  fear  liath  ris 

"  'S  math  mo  bharail  gur  sgianadair  thu, 
Eirin  thu  'n  t-astar  a  phian  thu, 

Chon  na  fasdail  chuir  fialachd  air  chul ; 
Fhad  's  a  bhiodh  tu  ga  gearradh 

Cha  'n  fhaigh  thu  chead  fantuinn  a  dh'  uin', 
'S  tha  mi  'togairt  do  thilgeil, 

Gu  bhi  deanamh  na  h-iinrich  as  ur." 

Labhair  Aonghas  an  gaisgeach 

Ann  an  c6mhradh  cath  an  fhir  leith, 
Dol  an  coinneamh  na  h-iorghuill, 

'S  cha  robh  'n  seann  duin'  ag  agair  na  reit' — 
"  Thus'  a  bhodaich  air  crionadh, 

'S  gu'm  bheil  mise  mo  ghlomhanach  treun, 
Theid  do  chrochadh  ri  meur  dhi 

'S  gu'm  bi  chraobh  fo  mo  riaghailte  fhein  !  " 

I  will  now  give  you  a  poem  composed  by  Mrs.  Mary  Mackellar, 
about  twenty  years  ago,  after  reading  of  Locheil  of  the  '45,  leav- 
ing the  Prince  asleep,  and  going  to  get  a  last  look  of  his  ancient 
castle.  On  his  arriving  at  his  destination,  the  Chief  found  nothing 
but  the  bare  walls,  the  "  Eed  Soldiers  "  having  burned  the  castle  to 
the  ground.  Mrs.  Mackellar  gives  expression  to  the  thoughts  that 
must  have  roused  her  chief  s  breast.  "Air  learn,"  said  she,  "gar 
ann  mar  so  a  labhair  an  ceann-feadhna  uasal "  : — 

An  eiginn  domhsa,  triath  nam  beaun, 

Bhi  'm  fhograch  fann  air  feadh  nan  stuchd, 


108  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

'S  gu  tosdach  sealltuin  air  do  cheann 
Mo  dhachaidh  aosda  anns  an  uir ! 

Loisg  na  "  Dearganaich  "  gu  lar 

Gach  baideal  ard  dhe  m'  dhachaidh  ghaoil 

'S  an  trie  a  fhuair  mi  fois  a's  tlaths 
Air  tilleadh  dhomh  o  ar  nan  laoch, 

'S  nuair  thogadh  slth  a  bratach  suas 

'Sa  bhithinns'  le  in'  thuath-chearn'  fhein 

'Tighinn  luchdaichte  gu  tur  nam  buadh, 
O'n  chreachan  fhuar  's  am  biodh  na  feidh 

Bu  phailt  am  fion,  's  bhiodh  piob  air  ghleus, 
'Si  caithreaniach  mu'r  '11  euchd  's  na  blair, 

'S  'nuair  bheireadh  Seanachaidh  greis  air  sgeul 
Mu  ghniomharan  nan  treun  a  bha 

Bhiodh  cridh'  gach  cuiridh  laist  'na  chom 
'Se  ann  am  fonn  gu  bhi  's  an  ar 

'S  gach  Camshronach  'sa  bhbid  gu  trom 
Gu  ainm  bhi  measg  nan  sonn  's  an  dan. 

'S  'nuair  thogainnse  mo  shrol  a  suas 
'S  crois-taraidh  le  luaths  na  gaoith 

G'an  tional  gu  toiteal  nan  tuagh 

'S  ann  riamh  gu  buaidh  a  thriall  na  laoich. 

Bha  uamhann  air  na  Goill  roiinh  'r  n-ainm 
'S  ged  tha  'n  diugh  coilbh  Ohuilfhodair  ac' 

Si  'm  ban-fhuil  fhein  bhiodh  fo  na  buinn 
Na,  'n  robh  ar  suinn  gu  leir  na'r  taic. 

A  thaibhse  Bhruis,  dean  faire  learn  ! 

A's  sileamaid  ar  deoir  le  cheiT 
Chuir  t-Albainn  fein  a'n  diugh  air  chul 

Oighre  do  chruin,  is  mor  am  bend. 

Ceannairc  'na  aghaidh  cha  dean  mi, 
'S  do  choigreach  mar  righ  cha  lub  ; 

An  aobhar  trocair  deir  iad  rium 

Thug  iad  o  m'  Phrionnsa  gaoil  a  chrun. 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio.  109 

An  Duitsich  no'n  Guelphich  an  d'  fhuair 

Trocair  no  truacantas  tamh  1 
Na  d'  ollanaich  fhuiltich  o'n  uaigh 

Ghleann  Comhann  luaidh  dhuinn  sgeul  do  chraidh. 

A's  eireadh  sibhs  a  laochan  mor 

A  thuit  an  Cuilfhodair  nan  creuchd 
Is  innsibh  'nuair  a  laidh  sibh  lebint' 

Mar  rinn  a'n  Cu  bhur  feoil  a  reub'. 

Bi'  d'  thosd  mo  chridh'  a's  sguir  dhe  d'  thurs' 

Cha  'n  am  gu  tuireadh  so  no  tamh ! 
Mo  chreach  mo  lamb,  bhi  'n  diugh  gun  luth's 

Gu  dioghladh  air  son  luchd  mo  ghraidh  ! 

A  dbachaidh  aigh  bu  Ian  do  ghaol 

Gach  broilleach  caomh  na  d'  thaobb  a  steach, 

'S  mu'n  cuairt  dbe  d'  theallach  gheibhte  faoilt 
Leis  an  aoidhe  aimbeartach. 

'S  ged  bhios  mi  'm  fhograch  thall  tliair  chuan 
Cha  teid  o  m'  chuimbn'  na  h-uairean  6ir 

A  chaith  mi  measg  do  thuilmean  uain' 
Ach-na-carraidh  'm  uachdran  sloigh. 

0  ch6in  a  righ  !  se  fuil  a's  driuchd 

An  diugh  air  do  fhlurain  mhaoth, 
Do  bhaidealan  sinnt'  anns  an  uir — 

Soraidh  leat  a  luchairt  ghaoil ! 

'Sa  nis  tha  lochran  seimh  na  h-oidhche 

'Boillsgeadh  ort  a  ghlinn  mo  chridh', 
A's  eiginn  triall  mu  'n  toir  i  soills 

Do  dhaoidhearan  tha  air  mo  thi. 

Triallam  grad  gu  beinn  an  f  hraoich 

'S  am  bheil  Prionns  mo  ghaoil  ri  tamh  ; 

Soraidh  le  m'  fhine  's  le  m'  dhaoine  ! 
'S  bi'dh  iad  leamsa  caomh  gu  brath. 

The  following  spirited  translation  of  the  above  is  also  from  Mrs. 
Mackellar's  pen  : — 


110  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Must  I,  the  lord  of  all  these  hills, 
A  weary  exiled  wanderer  roam ; 

And  quietly  view  thy  ruined  walls, 
My  own,  my  loved  ancestral  home. 

The  red-coats  burned  thy  lofty  dome — 
Home  by  a  thousand  ties  made  dear — 

From  war  to  thee  how  oft  I  've  come, 
With  love's  sweet  joys,  my  soul  to  cheer. 

When  peace  did  her  white  banner  rear, 
And  loving  vassal  and  his  lord 

Went  forth  to  hunt  the  roe  and  deer, 
And  turned  to  grace  the  festal  board, 

The  blood-red  wine  in  plenty  poured, 
And  pibroch  told  of  battles  won, 

Till  Senachie  would  in  pride  record 
The  mighty  deeds  our  sires  had  done. 

Then  martial  fire,  in  sire  and  son, 

Would  burst  into  one  glowing  flame ; 

And  vows  were  breathed  by  every  one, 
He  'd  ne'er  disgrace  the  Cameron  name. 

When  time  to  raise  our  banner  came, 
And  fiery  cross  was  swiftly  sped, 

Where  heroes  bold  did  pant  for  fame, 
'Twas  aye  to  victory  we  led. 

The  southern  foe  our  name  did  dread, 
Though  now  Culloden's  palm  they  bear, 

They  in  their  own  pale  blood  did  tread, 
Had  all  our  gallant  clans  been  there. 

Come,  shade  of  Bruce,  my  vigils  share, 
Come,  o'er  ungrateful  Scotland  mourn, 

She  hath  disowned  thy  rightful  heir — 
Indignant  fire  my  soul  doth  burn. 

To  wear  a  foreign  yoke  I'd  spurn, 
Nor  'gainst  my  lawful  king  rebel, 

That  crown  and  sceptre  's  from  him  torn, 
In  mercy's  cause  they  fain  would  tell. 


Leaves  from  my  Ge/tic  Portfolio.  Ill 

In  Dutch  or  Guelph  doth  mercy  dwell  ? 

Ye  gallant  heroes  of  Glencoe, 
Arise  in  gory  shrouds  and  tell 

Your  mournful  tale  of  dool  and  woe. 

Ye  heroes  great,  whose  blood  did  flow 

Upon  Culloden's  dreary  moor, 
Come  tell  now  when  ye  were  laid  low 

The  savage  hound*  did  stab  ye  o'er. 

Be  hushed,  my  heart,  and  grieve  no  more, 

This  is  no  time  to  sit  and  rest, 
I'll  hie  me  to  a  foreign  shore, 

And  strive  to  get  our  wrongs  redressed. 

Sweet  home,  within  thee  every  breast 

Did  glow  with  love  and  purity, 
And  round  thy  hearth  the  stranger  guest 

Found  kindest  hospitality. 

And  though  exiled  beyond  the  sea, 

I'll  ne'er  forget  the  golden  hours 
When  I  had  roamed,  a  chieftain  free, 

'Mong  Auchnacarry's  woodland  bowers. 

'Tis  gore  bedews  the  budding  flowers 

That  spring  awakes  in  glade  and  dell 
Around  thy  ruined  ancient  towers, 

Home  of  my  heart,  farewell,  farewell ! 

With  bleeding  heart  I  bid  farewell 

With  you,  my  brave  and  faithful  clan, 
Dear  in  his  exile  to  Locheil 

Will  be  each  gallant  Cameron  man. 

But  night's  pale  lamp  lights  up  the  glen, 

And  I  must  hide  from  watchful  foes, 
I'll  hie  to  where  my  Prince  has  lain 

In  balmy  sleep  to  drown  his  woes. 


*  Cumberland. 


112  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

For  the  following  song,  I  am  indebted  to  Mr.  Colin  Chisholm, 
Inverness.  It  is  the  composition  of  Alastair  Mac  Iain  Bhain,  the 
Glenmoriston  Bard,  whose  oran  an  t-saighdear  I  gave  among 
these  "  Leaves"  in  our  last  volume  : — 

Thoir  ma  shoiridh-sa  an  drasda 

Dh-fhios  an  ait'  'm  hheil  mo  mheanmhuinn, 
Gu  Duthaich  Mhic  Phadruig 

'S  an  d'fhuair  mi  m'  arach  's  mi  'm  leanabau; 
Gar  an  innis  mi  an  drasd'  e 

Cha  deach  mo  chail  dhaibh  ail  dhearmad — 
Meud  a  mhulaid  'bh'air  pairt  dhiubh 

Ann  'san  damhar  'an  d'fhalbh  mi. 

Chorus — Thoir  mo  sh61as  do'n  duthaich 

'S  bidh  mo  run  dhi  gu  m'  eug, 
Far  am  fksadh  a'  ghiubhsach 

'S  an  goireadh  smudan  air  gheug, 
Thall  an  aodainn  an  diinain 

Chluinnte  thuchan  gu  reith 
Moch  'sa'  mhaduinn  ri  driuchd 

An  am  dusgaidh  do'n  ghrein. 

'S  iomadh  aite  'n  robh  m'  eolas — 

Bha  mi  og  anns  an  armailt ; 
Luchd  nam  fasan  cha  b"  eol  domh 

Bho  na  sheol  mi  thair  fairge, 
Bha  sibh  eireachdail  stuaime 

Mar  bu  dual  duibh  le  anbharr, 
'S  rinn  sibh  'n  t-urram  a  bhuanachd 

'S  an  taobh-tuath  as  an  d'fhalbh  sibh. 

'S  truagh  nach  robh  mi  an  drasda 

Far  am  b'  abhaist  dhomh  taghal, 
Mach  ri  aodann  nan  ard-bheann, 

A's  stigh  gu  sail  Carn-na-h-eabhaich, 
Far  an  faicinn  an  lan-damh 

'Dol  gu  laidir  'na  shiubhal, 
'S  mar  beanadh  leon  ua  bonn  craidh  dha 

Bu  ro  mhath  'chail  dha  na  bhruthach. 

Gheibhte  hoc  ann  an  Ceannachnoc 
Agus  earbag  'san  doire, 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio.  11$ 

Coileach  dubh  au  Airidhiamlaich 

Air  bheag  iarraidh  'sa'  choille ; 
Bhiodh  an  liath-chearc  mar  gheard  air 

'G  innse  dhan  dha  roimh  theine, 
Ach  's  gann  a  thigeadh  am  bas  air 

'Nuair  bhiodh  a  gradh  do  dh-fhear  eile. 

Gheibhte  rachd  a's  lach  riabhach 

Anns  an  riasg  air  Loch  Coilleig, 
Coileach  ban  air  an  iosal 

'Sam  b'  ghnath  do  'n  fhiadh  a  bhi  taghal, 
Mar  bitheadh  e  farasda  thialladh 

Na.  togaibh  sgialachd  na  m'  aghaidh, 
Ach  's  trie  a  chunnaic  sinn  sealgar 

Sgith  falbh  gun  dad  fhaighinn. 

Gheibhte  gruagaichean  laghach 

Bhiodh  a  taghal  's  na  gleanntaibh, 
'Cuallach  spreidhe  's  dha  'm  bleoghan 

An  tim  an  fhaghair  's  an  t-samhridh — 
Am  p6r  a  dheanainn  a  thaghadh 

'S  gur  iad  an  raghuinn  a  b-annsa, 
Briodal  beoil  gun  bhonn  coire 

'S  nach  tigeadh  soilleir  gu  call  dhuinn. 

Tha  mo  chion  air  mo  leannan 

Leis  nach  b'aithreach  mo  luaidh  rith' — 
Tha  a  slios  mar  an  canach 

No  mar  eala  nan  cuaintean ; 
Tha  a  p6g  mar  am  fiogas, 

'S  glan  sioladh  a  gruaidhean, 
Suil  ghorm  as  glan  sealladh 

Fo  chaol  mhala  gun  ghruaimean. 

The  next  song  which  I  will  give  you — Thogainn  fonn  air  lorg  an 
fheidh — is  one  that  well  deserves  a  page  of  our  Transactions  : — 

'S  miann  le  breac  a  bhi  'n  sru  cas, 
'S  miann  le  hoc  bhi  'n  doire  dlu, 
'S  miann  le  eilid  bhi  'm  beinn  ard 
'S  miann  le  sealgair  falbh  le  'chu. 
Chorus — Agus  6  air  moro  h-6, 

Aoill  6  air  moro  h-6, 
Agus  6  air  moro  h-6, 

Thogainn  fonn  air  lorg  an  fheidh. 

8 


114  Gaelic  Society  of  In  verness. 

Cha  mhiann  bodaich  mo  mhiann  fein — 
Cha  mhiann  leis  eiridh  ach  mall ; 

Cha  lub  gruagach  6g  'na  sge — 
Tarruinnidh  e  leis  fe"in  an  t-sranu. 
Agus  6,  &c. 

Nichean  sin  do  'n  d'thug  mi  speis, 

'S  bu  mhiannach  learn  iad  bhi  m'  chbir 

Mo  ghunna  glaic  air  dheagh  ghleus, 

Dlreadh  ri  beinn,  a's  bean  6g  !__ 

Agus  6,  &c. 

'S  nichean  sin  do  'n  d'  thug  mi  fuath  : 

Bean  luath  a's  cii  mall ; 
Oighre  fearainn  gun  bhi  glic, 

Agus  slios  nach  altrum  clann ! 
Agus  6,  &c. 

Bu  mhiann  leam  ri  latha  fuar : 
Dlreadh  suas  ri  aonach  cas, — 

'N  uair  a  thilginn  mac  an  fhe'idh, 
Coin  air  eill,  's  ga'n  leigeil  as. 
Agus  6,  &c. 

Leam  bu  mhiann  bhi  'siubhal  bheann  ; 

Osan  teann  a  bhi  mu  m'  chos, 
Brog  iallach  dhubh,  gunna  cruaidh, 

Eilid  ruagh  a's  cu  m'a  dos. 
Agus  6,  &c. 

'S  ge  d'  fhaighinn  bean  a'  chinn  bhain, 
Air  mo  laimh  bu  bheag  mo  speis, 

Gu'm  b'  annsa  leam  bean  dhonn 

'Bheireadh  trom  ghaol  domh  le  ceill. 
Agus  6,  &c. 

Nighean  Uilleim  anns  a'  ghleann, 
Bean  a  b'  annsa  leam  fo  'n  ghrein  ; 

'S  na'm  biodh  Uilleam  ann  am  blar, 
Gheibhinnse  mo  gradh  dhomh  fein. 
Agus  6,  &c. 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio.  115 

'S  mo  cheisd  air  bean  a'  chinn  duibh, 

'S  docha  learn  i  'n  diugh  na'n  de, 
Mhiad  'sa  chuala  mi  de  'cainnt, — 

Gar  i  b'annsa  leam  fo  'n  ghrein. 
Agus  6,  &c. 

Let  me  follow  the  above  by  a  good  Jacobite  song.     I  am  in- 
debted for  it  to  an  old  woman  from  Skye  : — 

Gur  a  mis'  tha  fo  mhulad 
Air  an  tulaich  's  mor  m'  eislean  ! 
Chorus — Hor6  ho  hi  hbireanan 
H6ro  chall  eile 
Hor6  ho  h\  hoireanan  ! 

Mi  na  m'  laidhe  ann  an  Crosal.* 
'S  trdm  an  osn'  tha  fo  m'  leine, 
Horo,  &c. 

Chunnaic  mise  mo  leannan 
'S  cha  do  dh'  fhainich  e  'n  de  mi. 
Horo,  &c. 

Cha  do  dh'  fhidir  's  cha  d'fharaid 
'S  cha  do  ghabh  emo  sgeula. 
Horo,  &c. 

Chunnaic  mise  mo  luaidh 
'Dol  seach'  buaile  na  spreidhe. 
Horo,  &c. 

Bha  do  ghunn'  air  do  ghualainn 
'Dol  a  ruagadh  na  h-eilde. 
Horo,  &c. 

Cuim  nach  guidhean  an  Donach 
Le  Clann-Domhnuill  nan  geur-lann. 
Horo,  &c. 

Luchd  nan  calpanan  troma 
Chite  foinnidh  fo  'n  fheileadh. 
Horo,  &c. 

*  Crosal  is  in  Macleod's  country  in  Skya. 


116  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Luchd  nam  boghanan  iughair 
'Chuireadh  siubhal  fo  shaighdean. 
Horo,  &c. 

Luchd  nan  gunnachan  du-ghorm 
'Chuireadh  smuid  air  feadh  slelbhe. 
Horo,  &c. 

Luchd  nan  claidhmhnean  geala  — 
Chitear  lainnir  la  grein'  annt'. 
Horo,  &c. 

Thug  sibh  mionnan  a'  bhiobuill 
Air  strath  iosal  Alld-Eirinn. 
Horo,  &c. 


reachadh  claidheamh  na  dhubladh 
Gus  an  cruinte  Eigh  Seumas. 
Horo,  &c. 

Gus  an  deanta  High  Seoras 

A'  roiceadh  'sa  reubadh. 

Horo  ho,  hi  hoireanan 

H6ro,  chall  eile, 

Hor6  ho  hi  h6ireanan  ! 


The  following  "Soldier's  Song"  describes  the  hardships,  &c., 
which  the  early  Highland  soldiers  had  to  undergo.  The  ceile  to 
which  the  song  is  addressed  is  of  course  the  musket : — 

Chorus. — Hiliu,  hillin  6,  agus  6  hillin  e*ile, 
Hiliu,  hillin  6,  agus  6  hillin  e"ile, 
Air  faithill,  Ithill  6, 
Agus  b  hillin  eile, 
Mo  nighean  donn  an  t-sugraidh 
Mo  dhurachd  bhi  reidh  riut. 

Tha  'n  oidhche  nochd  gle  fhuar 

'S  mise  'g  uallach  mo  cheile, 
Ga  giiilan  air  mo  ghualainn, 

'S  neo-uallach  learn  fein  e  : 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio.  11' 

Cha'n  fhaod  mi  'dhol  an  uaigneas 

No  shuairceas  ri  t'  e"ile, 
'S  cha'n  urra  mi  'cur  bhuam 

Bho  na  fhuair  mi  bho'n  chleir  i ! 

Bho'n  fhuair  mi  far  an  tuir  thu 

'S  tu  ur  bharr  na  feille, 
Air  learn  gu'm  b'  mhor  an  cliu 

Bhi  ga  d'  ghiiilan  gu  h-eutrom  ; 
Ach  'nuair  sbeall  mi  air  mo  chulaobh 

'S  mi  'n  duil  a  bhi  reidh  riut, 
Cha  tuiginn  guth  dhe  d'  chanain 

An  Gailig  no  'm  Beurla. 

A'  chiad  la  cbuir  mi  snaim  ort 

Chaidh  maill  air  mo  leirsinn  ; 
Chaidh  di-chuimbn'  air  mo  chuimhne 

A's  boidhread  air  m'  eisdeachd, 
Gus  an  do  chuir  an  aimbreit 

Mo  cheann  troimhe  cheile 
Cha  tuiginn  guth  dhe  d'  chainnt 

Measg  nan  Gall  gus  an  d'  eigh  thu  ! 

0  !  's  mise  'fhuair  an  cimnradh — 

Bean  ruisgte  gun  eideadh, 
A  laidheas  aims  na  cuiltean, 

'S  nach  ionnlaid  mo  leine  ; 
Ach  a  dh-fheumas  mi  le  burn 

A  bhi  sguireadh  a  creubhaig, 
'S  ag  giulan  cupal  phunnd 

Eadar  uilleadh  a's  bhreidean. 


An  gunna  ga  fhreagairt : — 

De  maith  dhut  a  bhi  rium  1  — 

Ged  nach  cunntar  learn  spr&dh  dhut ; 
Bi  dollair  dhut  ga'n  cuinneadh 

A's  flur  air  gach  feill  dhut ; 
Bi'dh  mairteoil,  muilteoil,  ur 

Anns  gach  butha  do'n  teid  thu  ; 
'S  leat  aran  cheithir  punnd  ; 

'S  do  chuid  lionn'  cha  mi  dh-eis  ort ! 


118  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

The  Lament  for  "  The  Four  Johns  of  Scotland "  will  be  my 
next  piece.  The  "  Four  Johns,"  it  may  "Be  said,  were  John  Mac- 
kenzie of  Hilton  ;  John  Mackenzie  of  the  Applecross  family  ;  John 
Macrae,  tacksman  of  Conchra ;  and  John  Murchison,  tacksman  of 
Auchtertyre.  They  were  officers  under  Seaforth  at  Sheriffmuir,  and 
were  killed  there — hence  the  Lament.  The  term  by  which  they 
are  known,  Ceitliir  lainean  nah-Alba,  indicates  that  they  must  have 
been  mighty  men  and  valiant.  The  cumJta  was  composed  by  Kenneth 
Macrae,  Ardelve.  In  1715,  he  was  about  70  years  of  age,  but, 
nevertheless,  his  zeal  for  the  Jacobite  cause  was  such  that  nothing 
would  prevent  him  from  being  present  at  Sliabh  an  t-Siorra.  The 
UUlearn,  to  which  reference  is  made  in  the  song,  is  Seaforth — 
Uilleam  DuVh : — 

Tha  Uilleam  cliuiteach  an  diugh  fo  chas, 
Tha  'chridhe  bruite,  's  beag  ioghnadh  dha  ; 
Bu  ghlan  ar  n-6igriclh  o  'n  thog  e  'n  tos  iad, 
'S  gach  bratach  bhoidheach  a  bhuineadh  dha. 

'S  ann  a  Cinntaile  so  dh'fhalbh  na  suinn, 
Cha  robh  an  aicheadh  fo  bhrataich  Fhinn, 
Na  fir  bha  daicheil,  's  iad  sgaiteach,  laidir, 
Gur  e  mo  chradh-lot  mar  tharladh  dhuibh. 

An  latha  'dhlrich  sinn  ris  an  aird, 

Bha  fearg  a's  fraochan  air  fir  mo  ghraidh, 

A's  claidheamh  dubailte  'n  crios  gach  diumhlaich, 

A's  Spainntich  dhu'  ghorm  an  glaic  'ur  lamh. 

An  uair  a  ghluaiseadh  an  sluagh  a  Peairt, 

Bha  barail  thruagh  aims  an  uair  ud  ac', 

Gu'm  biodh  Alb',  'us  Eirinn,  'us  Sasuinn  r^idh  dhoibh, 

'S  na  h-uile  ceum  dhiubh  fo  bheum  an  ghlaic. 

Mo  chreach-sa  fudar  a's  luaidhe  ghlas, 
A  bhi  'n  'ur  suilean  a's  sibh  'n  'ur  teas  ; 
'Nuair  sheas  ha  fiiiranan  ctil  ri  ciil  ann, 
Bu  bheag  an  curam  dha  'n  cuid  each. 

'Nuair  thug  mi  suil  air  an  triipa  ghlais, 

Bha  fir  mo  niin-sa  'g  an  cur  'n  an  teas, 

Mar  gharadh  aon-fhillt  gu'n  thilg  a'  ghaoth  iad, 

Ach  thar  na  slaodaireansalach  as. 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio.  119 

Bha  luchd  nam  balgan  sin  'n  an  cath, 
Nam  briogsan  cainbe  's  nan  casag  glas. 
Bu  mhor  an  sgrol  iad  'g  an  cur  'an  6-rdugh, 
'S  e  'm  Brainan  mhr  a  thug  sinn  a  mach. 

Gu'n  thuit  an  t-6ganach  anns  an  t-sreup, 
An  t-Iain  o  Chonchra,  's  bu  mh6r  am  beud, 
An  curaidh  laidir  le  neart  a  ghairdean, 
A'  cur  nan  aghannan  diubh  gu  feur. 

B'e  sud  Iain  Chonchra  a  bha  gun  sgath, 
B'e  'n  duine  marbhtach  e  anns  a'  bhlar, 
Hi  sgoltadh  cheann  fhad  's  a  mhair  a  lann  da, 
'S  bha  fir  gun  chainnt  ann  as  de^gh  a  laimh. 

Bha  fear  Uchdarir  ann,  's  bu  righ  air  sluagh  ; 
B'e  sud  a'  fir-ghaisgeach  fior-ghlan,  cruaidh, 
B'e  leomhan  garg  e  a  bha  ro  chalma, 
Air  thus  na  h-armailt  e  rompa  suas. 

B'  e  sud  am  milidh  'bha  cinnteach,  cruaidh, 
O'n  aitim  rloghail  bu  ro-mhath  snuagh, 
An  teaghlach  muirneach,  's  fhad  sgaoil  an  cliu  as, 
A's  cha  b'e  'sgugaire  thainig  uath'. 

Bha  mac  Iain  oig  ann,  's  bu  mhoir  am  beud  ; 
B'e  sud  an  t-6ganach  foinnidh,  treun, 
Le  'chlaidheamh  cruadhach  o  neart  a  ghualainn, 
Gur  iomadh  gruag  a  chuir  e  gu  feur. 

Bha  'seobhag  suairc  ann  Fear  Bhaile-Chnuic, 

A'  fiuran  uasal,  's  e  laidir,  bras, 

A'  gearradh  luthan  nan  eacha  crudhach, 

Bu  mhillt'  a  shugradh,  's  bu  shearbh  a  ghreis. 

Cha  bu  liugair  e  'dol  air  ghleus, 
'S  cha  bu  chubair  air  chul  na  sgdith  ; 
Ach  an  diumhlach  bha  cridheil,  sunndach, 
A  dhearbh  a  dhurachd  mnn  thuit  e  fein. 

Ach  a  dhaoine  nach  cruaidh  an  cas, 
Uilleam  cliuiteach  a  dhol  'n  an  dail, 
Bha  'fhuil  le  'ghruaidhean  le  siubhal  luaidhe, 
'S  bu  chulaidh-uamhais  'nuair  bhuail  e  'ghraisg. 


120  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Mur  b'e  luaithead  's  a  rinn  iad  olc, 
'S  gu'n  d'rinn  a'  luaidhe  gu  cruaidh  do  lot, 
Bhiodh  claignean  ciurrt'  aig  luchd  bhriogsan  duinte, 
Le  lannaibh  du  ghorm  bu  mhath  's  an  trod. 

Nach  b'e  'fudar  an  liiigach  se61t', 
'Nuair  thug  e  'n  crun  dheth  an  taobh  bu  ch6ir, 
Le  'dhrachdan  diomhair  a'  tigh'nn  os  iosal, 
'Se  rinn  an  diobhail  a  thainig  oirnn. 

Na.  'm  biodh  Clann  Dbmhnuill  air  tigh'nn  'nar  pdirt, 

Na  fir  mh6ra  bu  mbath  's  a'  spairn, 

Bu  reiteach  Rosaich  a's  Rothaich  c6mhla, 

A'  tigh'nn  'nar  c6dhail  a  dh'iarraidh  baigh. 

In  connection  with  the  "  Four  Johns,"  it  may  be  interesting  to 
give  the  following  song.  It  was  sent  to  me  some  time  ago  by  my 
friend  Mr.  F.  D.  Macdonell,  and  I  cannot  do  better  here  than  give 
his  own  preface  to  it : — 


ORAN  DO  DH-ANNA  NIGHEAN  IAIN  OIG  MHIC  IAIN    'iC  ALASDAIR  'iC 
MHATHAIN,  LE  COINNEACH    MAC-CALMAIN. 

Tha  cuid  ann  am  beachd  gur  e  duin'  uasal  a  bha  anabarrach 
fileanta  ris  an  cainte  "D6mhnull  Aladail"  a  riun  an  t-6ran  so, 
ach  fhuair  mi  dearbhaidhean  do-aicheadh  gur  e  b'  ughdar  d'  a 
Coinneach  roimh  ainmichte,  tuathanach  a  bh'  anns  an  Achamhor  'an 
Lochaillse.  'Se  theirte  ris  gu  cumanta  "  Coinneach  mac  Iain  'ic 
lomhair."  B'  e  'athair  Iain  Uchdarlre,  fear  a  "  Cheathrar  lainean 
na  h-Alba, "  's  a  mharbhadh  ann  am  Blar  Sliabh  an  t-Siorraimh,  's  a 
bhliadhna  1715,  's  e  'n  a  Mhaidsear  ann  an  arm  Mhic-Coinnich. 
Bha  e  comharraichte  's  na  Garbh-Chriochan  air  son  a  mhor  neart 
agus  ailleachd  a  phearsa.  Bha  Coinneach  fein  'n  a  dhuine  ro  chalma, 
mar  dh'  fhaodair  a  dhearbhadh  eadhon  air  an  latha  'n  diugh,  le 
clach  a  thog  's  a  charaich  e  ann  an  garadh  bha  e  fein  's  a  nabuidhean 
a  deanamh  ann  an  Gleann-Udulain,  's  bha  i  air  a  comharrachadh 
riamh  o'n  uair  sin  mar  iongantas,  's  o  chionn  bheagan  bhliadnachan 
bha  i  air  a  toirt  le  Dughall  Mac-Mhathain,  seana  bhodach-fleasgaich 
a  b'  iar-ogha  dha  gu  ruig  Ard-deilbhe  far  am  faicear  i  air  bruaich 
ri  taobh  an  rathaid  mhoir.  Faodaidh  mi  innseadh  gu'm  bi  'm 
boirionnach  do  'n  d'  rinn  e  'n  t-6ran  so  piuthar  mo  shin-seana- 
mhair, 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio-  121 

Chorus — Hu-o  h6  mo  chailin  laghach, 

'S  tu  mo  chailin  seadhach,  ciuin, 
Hu-o  h6  mo  chailin  laghach, 

'S  tu  mo  roghainn,  thaghainn  th.it 

lubhrach  bhuadhach  o  na  choille, 

Dhionaich,  dhuallaich,  dhiongmhalt  dhluith 

Ghniomhaich,  ghuaillnich,  gun  bhi  corrach, 
Theireadh  ceud  mo  leannan  thu. 
Hu-o  h6,  &e. 

'S  tu  mo  chailin  6g,  deas,  dealbhach, 

'S  barail  learn  nach  meanbh  do  chliu, 
Meangan  ur  o'n  fhaillean  ainmeil, 

Toradh  a"  preas  tarbhach  thii. 
Hu-o  h.6,  &c. 

'S  ionmhuinn  'eucag  nan  rosg  mala, 

'Thairg  i  fein  mar  sholus  dhuinn, 
'S  inairg  a  threigeadh  tu  dha  aindeoin, 

'S  ^ibhinn  do  'n  ti  'mhealas  tu. 
Hu-o  h.6,  &c. 

'S  binn  a'  sme6rach  anns  an  doire, 

'S  binn  an  eala  'n  cois  a'  16in, 
'S  binne  na  sin  guth  mo  leannain, 

'N  uair  a  theannas  i  ri  ce61. 
Hu-o  h.6,  &c. 

'S  soilleir  daoimein  ann  am  fainne, 

'S  soilleir  tulach  ard  air  16n, 
'S  soilleir  riomhainn  ann  a'  rioghachd, 

Aig  mo  nionaig  se  tha  'n  c6rr. 
Hu-o  h6,  &c. 

'S  soilleir  long  mh6r  fo  'cuid  aodaich, 

'S  i  cur  sgaoilidh  fo  'cuid  se61, 
'S  soilleir  an  lath'  seach  an  oidhche, 

'S  aig  mho  mhaighdinn  fhin  tha  'n  c6rr. 
Hu-o  h6,  &c. 


122  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

'Ghiag  shlat  iir  a's  ailte  sealladh, 

Miar  dheth  'n   chraoibh  a's  molaich  rusg, 

'Ghiag  a  dh-fhas  gu  reidh  fo  dhuilleach 
'N  te  do  'n  tug  mi  gealladh  thu. 
Hu-o  h6,  &c. 

Suil  a  's  guirme,  gruaidh  a's  deirge, 
Beul  a's  cuimte  m'  an  deud  dhluith, 

'S  tu  nach  mealladh  mi  'n  am  earbsa, 
Ciod  e  fath  nach  leanmhuinn  thu. 
Hu-o  h6,  &c. 


The  following  song  has  not,  to  my  knowledge,  been  written  or 
printed  anywhere.  I  have  heard  it  sung  with  great  spirit  at  many 
a  gathering  in  the  West  Highlands,  but  have  never  heard  it  about 
Inverness.  It  is  unnecessary  to  discuss  the  doctrine  which  the 
poet  teaches  us ;  but  although  we  may  be  unanimously  against  it, 
I  think  the  song  is  well  worthy  of  preservation,  as  an  excellent 
specimen  of  its  kind  : — 

An  t-uisge  beatha,  fear  mo  chridhe, 
Thig  as  lion  an  stop  a  rithisd — 
'S  binne  learn  na  piob  a's  fiodhall 
D'  fhuaim  a'  tighinn  thun  a'  bhord, 
D'  fhuaim  a'  tighinn  thun  a'  bhord, 
B'annsa  learn  na  piob  a's  clarsach 
'.Nuair  thig  d'fhaileadh  fo  mo  shr6in. 

Chorus — Cha  sguir  mise  'm  bliadhna  'dh-ol 
Cha  sguir  mise  'm  bliadhna  'dh-ol 
Cha  sguir  mi  'ghoraich  am  feasda 
Fhad  's  bhios  leth-chrun  'na  mo  phoc, 
Cha  sguir  mise  'm  bliadhna  'dh-ol. 

Am  fear  nach  ol  's  nach  iarr  's  nach  paidh  e, 

'S  olc  an  companach  do  chach  e, 

Guidheam  goirt  a  bhi  na  fhardaich 

Gus  an  cairear  e  fho'n  fhoid, 

Gus  an  cairear  e  fo'n  fhoid, 

Gus  an  cairear  anns  an  uaigh  e, 

'S  am  b6rd-uachdair  air  a  shroin  ! 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio.  123 

'N  uair  a  bhios  mo  chloinn-sa  'caoineadh 
'S  an  t-ocras  a'  diogladh  an  caolain, 
'.N  uair  bhios  mise  fo  na  'n  daoraich 
Cha  bhi  cuimhn'  air  glaodh  nam  br6n, 
Cha  bhi  cuimhn'  air  glaodh  nam  br6n, 
Cha  bhi  cuimhn'  air  glaodh  nan  truaghan, 
'S  och  mo  thruaighe  cha  b'e  choir. 

Na  bodaich,  ged  chrbm  an  aois  iad, 
A's  an  cinn  cho  geal  ri  caora, 
'Nuair  a  gheibh  iad  Ian  an  taomain, 
Leumaidh  iad  gu  h-aotrom  og, 
Leumaidh  iad  gu  h-aotrom  og, 
Leumaidh  iad  gu  h-aotrom  uallach 
Cheart  cho  guanach  ris  na  h-eoin. 

Am  fear  a  dh'  iarr  'sa  dh'ol  'sa  phaigh  e, 

'S  math  an  companach  do  chach  e, 

Gheibh  e  cliu  am  measg  nan  Gaidheal, 

'S  bi'  e  riaraichte  ri  'bheo, 

Bi'  e  riaraichte  ri  'bheo, 

Bi'  e  riaraichte  am  feasda, 

'S  cha  tig  easbhuidh  air  a  ph6c. 

Mac-na-Bracha  'n  t-oigear  uasal, 
'S  ioma  rum  as  aite  fhuair  e, 
Cuiridh  e  braithrean  a  thuasaid, 
Dh'fhiachainn  co  's  cruaidhe  dorn, 
Dh'fhiachainn  co  's  cruaidhe  dorn, 
Dh'fhiachainn  co  's  cruaidhe  rudan, 
'S  cha  b'e  siigradh  bhi  na'n  coir. 

Gu'm  beil  anail  Horn  cho  cubhraidh, 
'S  a  tha  faileadh  nan  ubhlan, 
Fhad  'sa  mheallas  sinn  do  shugradh, 
Ciod  e  chuireadh  curam  oirn  ? 
Ciod  e  chuireadh  curam  oirn  1 
Curam  cha  'n  eil  oirn  no  gruaimean, 
'S  glaodhaidh  sinn  a  nuas  an  stop. 

I  will  conclude  these  "  Leaves"  for  the  present  by  quoting  some 
Highland  spells — Eblais.  We  all  know  of  the  belief  our  ancestors 
had  in  the  efficacy  of  their  spells.  There  was  Eblas  an  deididh, 


124  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Eblas  air  sgiuchadh  feith,  Eblas  an  tairbhein,  &c.,  all  of  which  were 
believed  to  possess  great  virtues.  A  peculiarity  about  them  was 
that  persons  of  the  same  sex  should  not  learn  them  from  one  an- 
other ;  and  in  order  to  be  efficacious,  a  man  must  learn  the  eblas 
from  a  woman,  and  a  woman  from  a  man.  I  will,  in  the  first  place, 
give  you  Eblas  air  greim  mionaich. 

Greim  Mionaich  was  no  uncommon  complaint  in  the  Highlands, 
and  where  is  the  Highland  boy  who  had  never  a  greim  or  "  stitch" 
in  his  side  after  a  long  and  difficult  race  ?  The  Eblas  which  I  am 
about  to  give  you  used  to  be  said  in  such  cases — an  ainm  an  Athar, 
a'  Mhic  's  an  Spioraid  Naoimh.  I  learned  it  when  a  boy  in  my  native 
parish  from  a  decent  old  woman,  who,  as  she  confided  to  me  the 
secret,  stroked  my  hair,  and  affectionately  addressed  me  "  Uilleam 
a  laoigli,  ionnsaichidh  mis'  eblas  dut"  and  the  Eblas  she  taught  me 
is  subjoined.  It  was  given,  she  said,  by  the  Slanaighear  fhein 
'nuair  a  bha  e  air  an  talamh.  Jesus,  she  added  in  sad  and  solemn 
tones,  having  had  to  escape  for  his  life  from  the  Jews,  entered  a 
house  and  sought  refuge.  Fear-an-tighe,  or  the  goodman  of  the 
house,  did  not  believe  in  him,  and  would  at  any  time  join  the  Jews 
in  putting  him  to  death..  He,  however,  was  not  in  when  Jesus  ar- 
rived ;  but  he  met  him  outside,  and  received  him  very  grimly. 
Jesus,  notwithstanding,  went  into  the  house  and  found  Bean-an- 
tighe,  or  the  good  wife  in.  She  had  great  faith  in  him,  and  gave 
him  food  and  shelter.  Knowing  her  husband's  antagonism  to  him, 
she  thought  it  necessary  to  conceal  him  from  him.  One  end  of  the 
house  was  used  as  a  byre,  and  it  so  happened  that  the  byre  had 
just  been  cleaned — mucked.  The  good  woman  bestrewed  the  bot- 
tom of  the  carcair  with  calg  d  Un,  and  Jesus  lay  down  on  it.  She 
then  covered  him  over  with  the  same  material,  and  thus  he  escaped 
the  search  of  his  foes.  Before  leaving  he  wished  to  recompense  the 
good  woman  for  her  kindness  to  him,  but  he  had  nothing  to  give, 
except  the  following  Eblas,  by  which  suffering  humanity  might  be 
occasionally  relieved,  and  her  kindness  and  his  safety  amid  great 
tribulation  commemorated.  The  person  suffering  from  the  greim 
mionaich  would  have  to  rub  the  afflicted  part,  and  as  he  did  so,  to 
repeat  the  words  of  the  E61as,  which  were  as  follows  : — 

An  ainm  an  Athar,  a'  Mhic,  's  an  Spioraid  Naoimh  ; 

Duine  fiat  a  muigh, 

Bean  fhial  a  stigh, 

Criosd  'na  laidh  air  calg  a'  lln — 

'S  math  an  leigheas  air  an  t-seilg  sin. 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio.  125 

Let  me  now  give  you  the  "  Eblas  air  sgiuchadh  feith,"  or 
Eblas  air  sniomh,  as  it  is  sometimes  called.  When  a  man  sprained 
a  joint,  he  was  to  consult  a  woman  who  knew  the  E61as  (and  when 
a  similar  mishap  befell  a  woman,  she  was  to  consult  a  man) — it 
being  necessary  to  give  some  gift,  however  small  in  value,  to  the 
person  consulted.  The  mode  of  treatment  was  thus  : — The  skilled 
person  would  put  a  thread  (usually  a  worsted  one)  into  his  or  her 
mouth,  and  then  repeated  the  E61as  in  low  and  solemn  tones.  The 
thread  was  then  tied  round  the  injured  part,  and  would  be  left  on 
until  it  broke  off  itself,  through  tear  and  wear.  The  Eolas  was  in 
these  terms  : — 

Chaidh  Criosda  mach 

'Sa'  mhaduinn  mhoich, 

'S  fhuair  e  casan  nan  each, 

Air  am  bristeadh  mu  seach. 

Chuir  e  cnaimh  ri  cnaimh, 

Agus  feith  ri  feith, 

Agus  fe6il  ri  fe6il, 

Agus  craicionn  ri  craicionn, 

'S  mar  leighis  esan  sin 

Gu'n  leighis  mise  so.* 

Let  me  now  give  you  Eblas  an  deididh,  and  let  me  hope  it  will 
be  found  of  value  to  any  member  of  this  Society  who  may  occasion- 
ally be  troubled  with  toothache.  You  all  know  Di-moladh  an 
deididh  by  William  Eoss,  but  Eolas  an  deidioh  is  not  quite  so 
common.  It  was  as  follows  : — 

Seachd  paidir  a  h-aon, 
Seachd  paidir  a  dha, 
Seachd  paidir  a  tri, 
Seachd  paidir  a  ceithear, 

*  This  mode  of  treatment  forcibly  reminds  one  of  the  manner  in  which 
Panurge  joined  Epistemon's  head  to  his  body  in  restoring  him  to  life.  Of  the 
account  of  that  wonderful  work  I  quote  the  following  : — Apres  les  oignit  de  je  ne 
s<jai  quel  oignement,  et  les  afusta  justement  veine  centre  veine,  nerf  centre  nerf, 
spondyle  contre  spondyle,"  &c. — Vide  Rabelais,  Book  II.,  Chap.  30. 
The  following  is  another  version  of  Eblas  air  SniomA : — 

Paidir  Mhoire  h-aon, 

Paidir  Mhoire  dha, 

Paidir  Mhoire  tri — 

Chaidh  Criosd  air  muin  as 

'S  thug  e  sniomh  dha  chas, 

'S  mu'n  d'  rainig  e  'n  lar 

Bha  e  slan  air  ais. 


126  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Seachd  paidir  a  coig, 
Seachd  paidir  a  sia, 
Seachd  paidir  a  seachd. 

An  orra  rinn  Muire  mhin, 

Do  Phadruig  uasal  aluinn, 

Air  chnoidh,  air  cheann,  air  chinn, 

Air  ruaidh,  air  at,  air  arnun. 

Thuirt  Abraham  ri  losa  Criosd 

'S  iad  a  falbh  air  sliabh  Bheitris, 

"Cha'n  urrainn  mise  coiseachd 

No  mairceachd  leis  an  deideadh." 

Thuirt  losa  Criosd  ri  Abraham, 

"  Cha  bhi  chnoidh  sin  anns  a  cheann  sin  : — 

'  Mach  an  deideadh,  niach  an  deideadh.'  " 

Da  uair  an  deigh  cheile. 

"  Fios  air  neamh  a's  fios  air  talamh, 

Fios  aig  do  righ  air  do  ghalar  ; 

Cnoidh  a's  deideadh  chuir  fo'n  talamh, 

Seachd  paidir  a  h-aon, 
Seachd  paidir  a  dha, 
Seachd  paidir  a  tri, 
Seachd  paidir  a  ceithear, 
Seachd  paidir  a  coig, 
Seachd  paidir  a  sia, 
Seachd  paidir  a  seachd. 

'Neart  nan  seachd  paidir 

Einn,  Muire  mhor,  a  Dhe  nan  dul, 

Do'n  chleireach  naomh,  cuir  do  dhonas  a's  do  dholas. 

Air  a'  chlach  ghlas  ud  thall, 

'S  air  buidheann  na  h-eucorach  !  " 

I  will  now  give  you  the  Eblas  to  cure  one  suffering  from  the 
effects  of  an  "  Evil  Eye."  The  modus  operandi  was  thus  : — Coins 
of  gold,  silver,  and  copper  would  be  put  into  a  basin  full  of  water. 
The  skilled  one  would  repeat  the  Eblas,  and  in  doing  so,  would 
bend  over  the  basin,  at  the  same  time  blowing  the  water  with  his 
breath.  The  water — uisg1  bir,  or  uisg'  airgid  as  it  might  be  called 
— would  then  be  sprinkled  on  the  suffering  one.  The  E61as  is  as 
follows  : — 

'S  e  'n  t-suil  a  chl, 

'S  e  'n  cridhe  'smuanaicheas, 


Leaves  from  my  Celtic  Portfolio.  127 

'S  e  'n  teanga  'labhras. 
'S  mise  'n  triuir  'tha  gu  tilleadh  so  ortsa — 
[Here  the  name  of  the  person  to  be  cured  is  said.] 
An  ainm  an  Athar,  a'  Mhic,  's  an  Spioraid  Naoimh. 

I  did  not  get  a  name  for  the  following  Eolas,  but  the  purpose 
of  it  was  to  make  physical  objects  invisible  to  ordinary  eyes.  It 
was  believed  to  be  of  great  service  to  hunters  who,  by  its  aid,  could 
come  home  laden  with  game  from  the  forests,  yet  no  one  could  see 
that  they  had  anything  !  This  precious  spell  was  as  follows  : — 

Fa  fithe  cuiream  ort 

Bho  chu,  bho  chat, 

Bho  bh.6,  bho  each, 

Bho  dhuine,  bho  bhean, 

Bho  ghille,  bho  nighean, 

'S  bho  leanabh  beag 

Gus  an  tig  mise  rithisd, 

An  ainm  an  Athar,  a'  Mhic,  's  an  Spioraid  Naoirnh. 

The  next  spell  is  called  Eolas  air  Sealmachas.  It  is  well  known 
that  many  Highland  cows  refuse  to  give  milk  on  all  occasions,  and 
they  are  particularly  difficult  to  manage  after  their  calves  are  taken 
from  them.  The  Eolas  air  Sealmachas  was  to  cause  them  to  give 
milk  when  required,  and  for  that  purpose  the  dairymaid  repeated 
it  as  follows  : — 

An  t-E61as  a  rinn  Calum  Cille 

'Dh-aona  bho  na  caillich 

Air  thabhairt  a'  bhainne 

'N  deigh  marbhadh  a  laoigh, 

Bho  fheithean  a  droma 

Gu  feithean  a  tarra, 

'S  bho  fheithean  a  tarra 

Gu  feithean  a  taobh — 

Bho  bhun  a  da  chluaise 

Gu  smuais  a  da  leise 

Air  thabhairt  a  bhainne 

Air  'mharbhadh  d'  a  laogh. 

I  will  conclude  with  Eolas  an  tairlhein.     It  is  as  follows  : — 

An  t- Eolas  a  rinn'  Calum  Cille 
'Dh-aona  mhart  na  caillich — 


128  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Bha  cas  Chalum  Chille  'sa'  churachan 

'S  a  chas  eil'  air  tir — 

"  A  thairbhein  a  thainig  thar  chuan 

'S  o  bhun  na  talmhainn  fada  thall — 

Air  mhial,  air  bhalg 

Air  ghalar  dearg. 

A  lughdachadh  do  bhuilge, 

'S  a  mharbhadh  do  mhial, 

A  mharbhadh  fiolan  fionn, 

A  mharbhadh  fiolan  donn, 

A  mharbhadh  biast  do  leann, 

A  mharbhadh  an  tairbhean, 

Gu'm  faigh  thu  leasachadh — 

Aghachain  tog  do  cheann." 

HTH  MAT,  1879. 

At  this  meeting,  Sheriff  Nicolson,  Kirkcudbright,  and  Mr. 
Charles  Macbean,  42  Union  Street,  Inverness,  were  elected  ordi- 
nary members.  Mr.  John  Mackay,  of  Ben  Reay,  read  the  first 
part  of  a  paper  by  him  on  Mackay 's  Regiment. 


21sT  MAY,  1879. 

At  this  meeting,  Rev.  Alexander  Cameron,  Glengarry ;  Mr. 
James  Grant,  M.A.,  Register  House,  Edinburgh ;  and  Mr.  William 
Fraser,  Assistant  Draper,  Castle  Street,  Inverness,  were  elected 
ordinary  members ;  and  the  reading  of  the  paper  on  Mackay's 
Regiment,  begun  last  week,  was  concluded.  Mr.  Mackay's  paper 
was  as  follows  : — 

MACKAY'S  REGIMENT : 

A  narrative  of  the  principal  services  of  the  Regiment,  from  its 
formation  in  1626,  to  the  battle  of  Nordlingen,  in  1634  ; 
and  of  its  subsequent  incorporation  with  the  Corps  now 
known  as  The  Royal  Scots  or  First  Regiment  of  Foot  of  the 
British  Army. 

INTRODUCTION. 

When  King  James  VI.  of  Scotland  became  also  King  of 
England,  there  followed  a  lengthened  period  of  peace  and  quiet- 
ness throughout  the  two  kingdoms,  which  was  in  striking  contrast 


Mackay's  Regiment  129 

to  the  warlike  and  unsettled  state  of  affairs  that  preceded  his  reign. 
For  men  brought  up  to  arms  there  was  little  or  nothing  to  do  in 
their  profession  at  home,  and,  as  they  could  not  remain  idle,  they 
looked  abroad  for  military  employment.  Vast  numbers  of  brave 
and  adventurous  men  accordingly  left  Scotland  in  search  of  fame 
and  fortune,  and  took  service  under  the  banners  of  the  various 
princes  who  were  then  warring  for  supremacy  on  the  continent  of 
Europe.  There  was  soon  plenty  to  do.  Strong  hands  and  stout 
hearts  were  wanted  ;  for,  before  the  first  quarter  of  the  seventeenth 
century  had  passed,  a  fierce  war  was  raging,  which  convulsed  the 
whole  of  Europe.  This  was  the  long  and  terrible  struggle,  now 
known  in  history  as  the  thirty  years1  war.  That  war  had  begun 
by  the  Elector  Palatine  (Frederick  IV.)  accepting  the  crown  of 
Bohemia,  offered  to  him  by  the  protestants  of  that  country,  who 
were  then  in  the  ascendant,  and  trying  to  carry  everything  with 
a  high  hand.  The  Elector  had  married  the  Princess  Elizabeth 
Stuart,  daughter  of  King  James  VI.  of  Scotland  ;  and  many  Scottish 
cavaliers,  afterwards  found  fighting  on  the  side  which  became  identi- 
fied as  that  for  the  preservation  of  civil  and  religious  liberty,  had 
joined  in  the  struggle,  simply  because  the  Princess  was  looked  upon 
as  one  of  themselves.  This  explains  how  such  leaders  as  Sir 
Andrew  Gray  and  Sir  John  Hepburn,  and  other  Eoman  Catholic 
gentlemen  were  found  in  the  protestant  ranks.  It  was  the  principle 
of  loyal  devotion  to  then-  King's  daughter  that  led  them  to  enter 
the  struggle,  and  not  any  preference  for  the  Elector  rather  than 
the  Emperor,  for  the  interests  of  both  rulers  were  alike  indifferent 
to  them.  The  accepting  of  the  crown  of  Bohemia  by  the  Elector, 
led  the  Emperor  of  Austria  to  oppose  his  claim.  Both  had  their 
friends  and  allies,  and  in  a  short  time  the  whole  of  Germany  was 
involved  in  the  struggle. 

Prominent  among  the  military  adventurers  of  the  time  was  Sir 
Donald  Mackay.  He  was  born  in  1590,  had  been  knighted  by 
King  James  in  1616,  and  was  just  in  the  prime  of  life,  when,  early 
in  1626,  he  left  his  home  in  the  far  North  and  proceeded  to  London 
to  request  permission  from  King  Charles  I.  to  raise  a  regiment  for 
service  abroad.  His  object,  as  he  informed  the  King,  was  to  assist 
Count  Mansfeldt,  the  leader  of  the  Bohemian  army,  in  the  war  he 
was  then  waging  on  behalf  of  the  Elector  against  Austria.  The 
King  favoured  his  project,  and  instructed  the  Privy  Council  to 
grant  his  request.  The  requisite  commission  was  issued  on  6th 
March,  and  in  it  Sir  Donald  was  authorised  to  levy  and  transport 
2000  men  for  the  purpose  named.  He  then  returned  to  Scotland, 
and  in  a  short  time  nearly  3000  men,  levied  almost  entirely  among 

9 


130  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

his  own  clan  and  kinsmen,  were  ready  to  follow  him  on  foreign 
service.  The  regiment  was  thus  easily  raised.*  It  consisted  of 
eleven  companies ;  but  as  no  muster  roll  of  the  regiment,  so  far 
as  I  know,  is  now  in  existence,  and  as  a  company  in  those  days 
numbered  from  150  to  300  men,  I  have  not  been  able  to  ascertain 
its  strength  when  it  left  Scotland.  Sir  Eobert  Gordon,  in  his 
History,  states  that  he  saw  the  greater  part  of  the  levies  (that  is 
the  3000  men  above-mentioned)  embark  at  Cromarty  for  the  Conti- 
nent. Grant,  again,  in  his  Memoirs  of  Sir  John  Hepburn,  gives 
the  strength  of  the  regiment  as  only  1500  men,  but  he  adduces  no 
authority  for  the  statement.  Munro,  however,  in  his  Expedition, 
which  is  the  best  authority  extant  on  the  history  of  the  regiment, 
gives  certain  returns,  from  which  it  is  evident  that  the  number  must 
have  been  at  least  2000. 

No  regiment  of  modern  times  can  show  a  list  of  officers  t 
superior  to  those  selected  by  Sir  Donald  Mackay.  Most  of  them 
were  of  good  families  and  position,  and  better  men  could  not 
be  found.  Even  among  the  non-commissioned  officers  and  privates, 
there  were  many  gentlemen's  sons,  and  Munro  of  Fowlis  joined  as 
a  volunteer.  J 

According  to  the  military  system  of  the  time,  the  Eegiment 

*Lord  Forbes  (Sir  Donald'  cousin)  furnished  800  of  the  men  ;  but  it  would  be 
a  mistake  to  suppose  that  the  Regiment  was  entirely  composed  of  volunteers,  for 
in  the  Privy  Council  Records  for  22nd  August,  1626,  it  is  ordered  that  Robert 
Abrach  M'Gregor  and  others,  who  were  prisoners  in  the  Tolbooth  of  Edinburgh, 
were  to  be  delivered  to  Sir  Donald  Mackay  to  serve  in  his  Regiment.  "  In  the 
ranks,"  says  Chambers  (Domestic  Annals  of  Scotland,  vol.  II.,  p  10),  "were  in- 
cluded a  small  band  of  Macgregors,  who  had  been  lying  for  some  time  in  the 
Tolbooth  of  Edinburgh,  on  account  of  their  irregularities,  and  who  are  said  to 
have  proved  good  soldiers  under  regular  discipline,  and  with  a  legitimate  outlet 
for  their  inherent  turbulence  and  courage." 

t  See  list  of  officers  at  the  end  of  this  paper. 

J  After  serving  in  Mackay's  Regiment  for  some  time  as  a  volunteer,  so  as  to 
see  service  and  obtain  experience,  Fowlis  returned  to  Scotland,  and  raised  a 
company  among  his  own  clansmen.  "With  these  he  again  joined  Mackay's  Regi- 
ment as  a  Captain.  He  afterwards  became  a  Colonel  in  the  army  of  Gustavus. 
The  author  of  the  Expedition  writes  as  follows  :— "  My  Chief e  and  Cosen,  the 
Baron  of  Fowles,  being  in  his  travels  in  France  a  little  prodigall  in  his  spending, 
redacted  his  estate  to  a  weake  point,  being  advised  by  his  friends  timely  io  looke 
to  the  wounds  of  his  house  and  family,  and  to  forsee  the  best  cure  to  keep  bur- 
then off  his  estate,  having  engaged  his  Revenewes  for  teene  years,  to  pay  his 
Creditors,  he  went  beyond  sea  a  volunteer  to  Germanic  with  Mac-Keyes  Regi- 
ment, well  accompanyed  with  a  part  of  his  nearest  friends ;  and  having  the 
patience  to  attend  his  fortune,  his  first  employment  was  to  be  a  Captaine  of  a 
company  of  Scots  souldiers,  leavied  by  himselfe,  and  thereafter  advanced  to  be 
a  Colonell  of  horse  and  foot  of  strangers,  under  the  invincible  King  of  Sweden 
of  worthy  memorie. 

"Thus  farre  of  the  Ban-on  of  Fowles  ...  to  animate  other  Cavaliers 
borne  of  lesse  fortunes  to  follow  his  vertues  in  being  patient,  though  their  pre- 
ferments come  not  at  first,  loving  vertue  for  her  end." 


Mackay's  Regiment  131 

consisted  of  pikemen  and  musketeers  ;  and  taking  the  proportions 
usual  in  those  days,  Mackay's  force,  if  2000  strong,  would  he  made 
up  of  ahout  800  of  the  former,  and  1200  of  the  latter.  The  strongest 
men  were  always  selected  to  handle  the  pike,  which  was  a  spear 
14  to  18  feet  long,  and  in  the  hands  of  trained  powerful  men, 
must  have  "been  a  most  formidable  weapon.  The  pikemen  carried 
swords  in  addition  to  their  pikes.  The  musketeers  had  matchlock 
muskets,  swords,  and  daggers ;  and  every  soldier  was  usually  pro- 
tected by  a  helmet,  gorget,  buff  coat,  and  breastplate.  Such  was 
the  ordinary  military  equipment  of  the  period. 

But  in  what  uniform  did  Sir  Donald  Mackay's  men  appear  ? 
Although  Munro  in  his  Expedition  does  not  say  anything  on  the 
subject,  I  think  I  am  safe  in  assuming  that  the  kilt  was  the  great 
distinguishing  dress  of  the  Regiment.  Grant,  in  his  Memoirs  of 
Sir  John  Hepburn,  makes  frequent  mention  of  "  Mackay's  Kilted 
Highlanders ; "  and  in  Philip  Hollo  he  thus  describes  the  Regi- 
ment : — "  The  whole  were  uniformly  accoutred  in  steel  caps  and 
buff  coats,  the  officers  being  fully  armed  in  bright  plate  to  the  waist, 
and  having  plumes  in  their  head-pieces  ;  their  kilts  were  of  dark 
green  tartan,  and  belted  up  to  the  left  shoulder,  according  to  the 
custom  of  Highlanders  when  going  on  service.  The  musketeers 
carried  their  powder  in  bandoliers  ;  and,  in  addition  to  his  dirk, 
every  officer  and  man  wore  the  claymore  or  genuine  old  Highland 
sword,  which  could  be  used  with  both  hands.  Their  purses  were 
of  white  goatskin,  and  properly  adorned  with  silver."  "  The  offi- 
cers are  said,  in  addition  to  rich  buttons,  to  have  worn  a  gold  chain 
round  the  neck,  to  secure  to  the  owners,  in  case  of  being  taken 
prisoners,  good  treatment  from  the  enemy,  in  hope  of  a  lucrative 
ransom."* 

*  In  the  British  Museum  there  is  a  collection  of  illustrated  broadsides,  prin- 
ted in  Germany  during  the  thirty  years  war.  One  of  these  prints  (a  copy  of 
which  is  given  in  Mr.  J.  F.  Campbell's  Tales  of  the  West  Highlands,  Vol.  IV.)  repre- 
sents four  Highlanders.  Three  are  dressed  in  the  kilt,  and  one  in  something  like 
a  kilt,  so  tied  in  at  the  knees  as  to  resemble  knickerbockers.  One  of  the  three 
has  the  belted  plaid,  brogues,  and  mogans  ;  while  another  has  no  covering  for  his 
legs  and  feet.  Two  are  armed  with  bows  and  arrows,  one  has  a  musket,  and  the. 
fourth  a  staff  in  his  hand,  which  may,  perhaps,  be  intended  for  a  pike.  Surround- 
ing the  print  there  is  the  following  in  German  : — "  The  800  foreigners  who  have 
arrived  in  Stettin,  go  about  in  such  garments.  They  are  a  strong  and  hardy  race, 
and  subsist  upon  very  little  food.  When  they  have  no  bread  they  will  eat  roots  ; 
and  in  an  emergency  they  can  go  over  20  German  miles  [70  English  miles]  in  a 
day.  They  carry  muskets,  bows  and  arrows,  and  long  knives."  The  words  I  have 
trap  slated  foreigners  (in  the  original  Irrlander  oder  Irren),  mean  literally  Irish- 
men or  Wanderers.  If  the  words  are  taken  as  meaning  Irish,  then  the  inference 
is  that  some  of  the  Lowland  Scotch  soldiers  (of  whom  there  were  many  then  in 
Germany),  on  being  asked  who  those  foreigners  were  in  the  strange  dress,  replied 
that  they  were  Erse  or  Erish, — a  name  in  that  day  commonly  given  to  High- 


132  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

The  flags  of  the  Eegiment  were  the  national  ensign  of  Scotland, 
and  the  banner  of  Sir  Donald  Mackay. 

All  arrangements  being  completed,  the  whole  force  assembled  at 
Cromarty,  where  ships  were  in  waiting  to  convey  them  to  the  Con- 
tinent. Many  of  the  men  exhibited  a  strength  and  a  stature  such 
as  can  seldom  be  seen  now-a-days  ;  and  Sir  Donald's  own  company 
(the  "  gentlemen  of  the  Colonells  company,"  as  Munro  describes 
them)  consisted  of  picked  men,  chiefly,  it  is  said,  from  the  districts 
of  Strath  Naver  and  Strath  Halladale.* 

It  must  have  been  a  glorious  sight  to  witness  the  entry  of  the 
brave  and  gallant  band  into  Cromarty.  They  were  the  flower  of 
Duthaich  Mhic-Aoidh,  the  country  of  the  Mackay s.  Marching  in 
sections,  six  abreast,  we  can  easily  imagine  how,  with  colours  flying, 
pipes  playing,  and  drums  beating,  they  would  approach  the  town. 
The  burnished  musket  barrels  and  tall  pikes,  the  glittering  helmets 
and  polished  breastplates,  the  nodding  plumes  and  flashing  steel, 
the  measured  tread  of  so  many  feet,  and  the  regular  motion  and 
waving  of  the  tartan,  must  have  excited  a  sense  of  emotion  and 
enthusiasm  in  the  minds  of  all  who  beheld  them,  never  to  be  for- 
gotten ;  for  assuredly  no  finer  or  braver  men  ever  left  their 
country  for  a  foreign  war. 

On  the  10th  October,  1626,  the  fleet  set  sail,  and,  after  a 
passage  of  five  days,  arrived  safely  at  Gluckstadt,  on  the  Elbe. 
Here  the  Eegiment  disembarked,  and  immediately  after  landing 
(I  quote  from  Monro,  his  Expedition^)  "  was  quartered  in  the  fat 

landers  by  the  inhabitants  of  the  south  and  west  of  Scotland.  Or,  if  the  word 
"Wanderers  is  taken  (Irren,  in  old  German,  meaning  literally  to  wander  or  lose 
one's  way),  then  the  reference  may  be  to  the  fact,  that  the  soldiers  having  come 
from  a  distant  country,  they  could,  with  all  propriety,  be  called  Wanderers. 

But  one  thing  is  certain,  the  whole  of  Mackay's  Regiment  was  in  Stettin  in 
1630,  and  the  print  is  probably  intended  to  let  the  Germans  see  what  sort  of  men 
Highland  soldiers  were.  Even  if  there  were  no  other  evidence,  it  establishes  the 
fact  that  the  kilt  was  the  uniform  of  the  Regiment.  Mackay's  was  thus  the  first 
regularly  organised  regiment  of  which  we  have  any  record,  that  was  dressed  in  THE 
GARB  OP  OLD  GAUL. 

*  The  men  of  Strath  Naver  and  Strath  Halladale  were  long  celebrated  for 
their  extraordinary  size  and  soldierly  bearing.  Even  so  late  as  the  beginning  of 
the  present  century,  when  the  93rd  Regiment  was  formed,  the  men  in  it,  who 
were  drawn  to  a  great  extent  from  these  districts,  showed  not  only  by  their  size 
and  strength,  but,  above  all,  by  their  high  moral  character,  that  they  were  no 
unworthy  successors  of  those  who  distinguished  themselves  so  gallantly  during 
the  thirty  years'  war. 

If,  however,  we  wish  to  see  the  descendants  of  these  truly  noble  men,  we 
must  unfortunately  not  look  for  them  now  in  the  land  of  their  fathers.  Owing 
to  the  mistaken  policy,  known  as  the  Clearances,  they  are  to  be  found  chiefly  in 
Canada— not  in  Scotland. 

t  "  MONRO,  HIS  EXPEDITION  WITH  THE  WORTHY  SCOTS  REGIMENT  (called 
Mac-Keyes  Regiment),  levied  in  August,  1626,  by  Sir  Donald  Mac-Key,  Lord 
Mhees  Colonell,  for  his  Majesties  service  of  Denmark,"  &c.  London,  1637. 


Mackay's  Regiment  133 

and  fertile  soyle  of  Holsten,  nothing  inferiour  in  fertilitie  to  any 
part  of  Dutchland,  except  in  wines,  having  come  in  abundance, 
wheat  and  barly  ;  in  milke  nothing  inferiour  to  Holland  ;  and  for 
the  most  part  inhabited  by  Hollanders,  especially  the  Cities.  Their 
Gentry  live  like  Noblemen,  and  their  Communaltie  live  like  Gentle- 
men." They  remained  in  Holstein  about  six  months,  and,  from 
Munro's  account,  seem  to  have  had  very  comfortable  winter  quarters. 
Sir  Donald,  owing  to  sickness,  had  not  been  able  to  embark 
with  his  men,  but  on  his  recovery,  Munro  tells  us  "  he  tooke  shipping 
from  Scotland  to  Holland,  and  from  thence  overland  "  to  join  them. 
He  "arrived  in  the  latter  end  of  March,  anno  1627,  in  Holsten, 
where  he  was  welcomed  by  his  Regiment."* 

THE    REGIMENT   TAKES    SERVICE    UNDER   THE   KING    OP   DENMARK. 

I  have  mentioned  that  the  Kegiment  was  raised  for  the  purpose 
of  assisting  Count  Mansfeldt,  the  leader  of  the  Bohemian  army, 
in  the  war  against  Austria.  Owing,  however,  to  the  death  of  that 
general,  it  became  necessary  to  make  other  arrangements  for  the 
service  of  the  Highlanders.  These  were  soon  completed  by  Sir 
Donald,  who  entered  into  an  agreement  with  the  King  of  Denmark 
to  fight  under  his  banner.  This  was  a  natural  step  to  take,  for  the 
Danish  King  had  embarked  in  the  same  cause  as  Count  Mansfeldt, 
and  besides,  he  was  uncle  to  King  Charles  I.  and  the  Princess 
Elizabeth,  and  thus  service  under  him  was  quite  in  harmony  with 
the  feelings  of  the  Scottish  soldiers  and  their  leaders. 

"  During  the  tedious  winter  the  Regiment  was  "  in  Holstein,  says 
Munro,  it  was  "  well  exercised  and  put  under  good  discipline,  as 
well  the  particular  companies  as  the  whole  Regiment,  so  that  mine 

*  Among  those  who  accompanied  Sir  Donald,  mention  must  be  made  of  Mr. 
(afterwards  Sir)  Robert  Farquhar  of  Mounie.  He  seems  to  have  acted  as  purse- 
bearer  or  paymast  er,  and  in  his  Papers  there  is  a  statement  of  the  money  he 
disbursed  in  Scotland  and  Holland  for  Sir  Donald,  between  2nd  January  and 
22nd  March,  1627.  The  piiucipal  entries  are  for  wines  and  other  drinkables,  and 
some  of  the  items  are  rather  curious.  On  embarking  at  Leith,  there  is  paid  "  for 
ane  rubber  of  Frensche  wyne  £21.  12/  .  .  .  Our  supper  in  Bremmell  13  of 
Februar  £8.  2/.  Payit  seing  the  Kirk  thair  4/,  drink  silver  8/.  Payit  seing  the 
Kirk  and  stepill  of  Dort  12/.  Payit  in  syned-hous  for  wyne  and  breid  thair  12/. 
Our  supper  in  Rotterdam  15  of  Februar  6j.  Drink  silver  thair,  and  f or  beir, 
succar,  and  nutmuggs  14/.  .  .  .  For  ane  new  sword  to  his  Lordship  in  Amster- 
dam 15/.  Payit  for  mending  and  washing  the  Colonell's  blew  wastcot  in  Amster- 
dam 18/." 

Farquhar 's  papers  are  at  Gordonstown,  where  they  are  preserved  with  the 
extensive  and  interesting  collection  bearing  on  the  history  of  the  North  of  Scot- 
land during  the  Seventeenth  Century,  belonging  to  Sir  W.  G.  Gordon  Gumming, 
Bart.  (Sixth  Report  of  Royal  Commission  on  Historical  Manuscripts,  p.  686.) 


134  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

eyes,"  he  adds,  "  did  never  see  a  more  complete  Regiment,  for 
bodies  of  men  and  valiant  souldiers." 

Before  the  arrival  of  Sir  Donald,  a  hitch  had  occurred  regard- 
ing the  regimental  colours,  which,  however,  was  settled  without 
any  breach  of  friendship  between  our  countrymen  and  the  Danes, 
although  it  is  said  to  have  rankled  in  the  breast  of  the  King.  The 
case  was  this  :  His  Majesty  of  Denmark  "  would  have  the  officers 
to  carry  the  Danes  crosse,  which  the  officers  refusing  they  were 
summoned  to  compeare  before  His  Majestie  at  Raynesberge,  to  know 
the  reasons  of  their  refusalls  ;  at  the  meeting  none  would  adventure, 
fearing  his  Majesties  indignation  to  gainestand  openly  his  Majesties 
will,  being  then  his  Majesties  sworne  servants  ;  and  for  the  eschew- 
ing of  greater  inconvenience,  the  officers  desired  so  much  time  of 
his  Majestie  as  to  send  Captaine  Robert  Ennis  into  England,  to 
know  his  Majestie  of  Great  Britaines  will,  whether  or  no  they 
might  carrie  without  reproach  the  Danes  crosse  in  Scottish  colours  : 
Answer  was  returned  they  should  obey  their  will  under  whose  pay 
they  were,  in  a  matter  so  indifferent."  The  Danish  Cross  was 
accordingly  borne  as  one  of  the  flags ;  but  the  Regiment  did  not 
give  up  the  Scottish  Cross  of  St.  Andrew,  but  continued  to  carry 
it  also. 

Immediately  after  the  arrival  of  Sir  Donald,  orders  were  given 
that  his  Regiment  should  proceed  to  Itzehoe,  to  be  inspected  by 
the  King  of  Denmark,  and  take  the  oath  of  fidelity  to  that  sove- 
reign. 

Munro  describes  the  scene.  "  The  Regiment  being  come  to- 
gether at  the  Rendezvouz,  was  drawn  up  in  three  divisions,  attend- 
ing his  Majesties  comming,  in  good  order  of  battaile,  all  officers 
being  placed  according  to  their  stations  orderly,  Colours  fleeing, 
Druuimes  beating,  horses  neying,  his  Majestie  comes  royally  for- 
ward, Salutes  the  Regiment,  and  is  saluted  againe  with  all  due 
respect,  and  reverence,  used  at  such  times ;  his  Majestie  having 
viewed  Front,  Flancks  and  Reare,  the  Regiment  fronting  alwayes 
towards  his  Majestie,  who  having  made  a  stand  ordained  the  Regi- 
ment to  march  by  him  in  divisions,  which  orderly  done,  and  with 
great  respect,  and  reverence,  as  became  ;  his  Majestie  being  mightily 
well  pleased  did  praise  the  Regiment,  that  ever  thereafter  was  most 
praise  worthy.  The  Colonell,  and  the  principall  officers  having 
kissed  his  Majesties  hand,  retired  to  their  former  stations,  till  the 
oath  was  publikely  given,  both  by  officers  and  souldiers  being 
drawne  in  a  Ring  by  conversion,  as  use  is  at  such  times.  The  Oath 
finished,  the  Articles  of  Warres  reade,  and  published,  by  a  Banko 
of  the  Drummer  Major,  and  his  associates,  the  Regiment  remitted, 


Mackay's  Regiment  135 

marches  off  orderly  by  companies,  to  their  quarters,  to  remaine  till 
orders  were  given  for  their  up-breaking." 

The  next  day  Sir  Donald  received  instructions  to  take  seven 
companies  of  the  Eegimeut  across  the  Elbe.  Two  of  these  com- 
panies were  to  be  left  at  Stade  for  the  protection  of  that  town,  and 
Sir  Donald  was  then  to  proceed  with  five  companies  towards  the 
Weser,  and  join  the  English  forces  then  in  the  service  of  Denmark. 
The  English  troops  were  under  the  command  of  General  Morgan, 
a  brave  old  Welshman,  and  an  officer  of  considerable  experience. 
The  remaining  four  companies  of  the  Regiment  were  to  march  to 
Lauenburg,  as  there  was  some  apprehension  that  the  Imperialists 
might  cross  the  Elbe  in  that  neighbourhood.  The  English  troops 
were  quartered  near  Bremen,  and  the  five  companies  of  Highlanders 
remained  with  them  ten  weeks,  having  "  great  dutie  in  watching, 
many  alarummes,  but  little  service,"  although  the  enemy  was  not 
far  off. 

While  encamped  with  General  Morgan's  forces,  Mackay's 
soldiers  felt  it  to  be  a  grievance,  and  were  naturally  a  little  dis- 
contented that  the  English  regiments  should  be  getting  regular 
weekly  pay,  whereas  they  were  only  being  provided  with  rations 
of  "  bread,  beere,  and  bacon."  Sir  Donald  therefore  left  head- 
quarters and  proceeded  to  Hamburg,  to  solicit  money  for  the  pay- 
ment of  his  officers  and  men.*  Munro  praises  him  for  this,  and 
makes  the  following  observation  :  "  It  is  a  great  part  of  a  Colonells 
dutie  timely  to  foresee  for  all  things  necessary  that  may  give  con- 
tent to  those  under  his  command,  lest  being  justly  discontented, 
he  might  be  grieved,  whiles  it  were  not  in  his  power  to  helpe  him- 
selfe,  or  others.  The  liberality  of  a  Colonell  and  his  care  in  fore- 
seeing for  his  Eegiment,  returnes  to  him  oftimes  with  triple  profit, 
being  with  moderation  familiar  with  his  officers,  making  them,  as 
humble  friends,  not  as  servants,  under  command,  and  he  ought  by 
all  means  eschewe  to  come  in  question,  or  publique  hearing  with 
his  officers  :  the  onely  means  to  make  himselfe  famous,  and  his 
Eegiment  of  long  continuance." 

*  In  the  Papers  at  Castle  Forbes,  there  is  a  letter  to  Lord  Forbes,  endorsed 
"Letter  from  Sir  Donald  Makky,  Colonell  out  off  Germany,  brocht  hame  be 
Mr.  Robert  Farquhar,  burgess  off  Aberdein,  1627,"  which  shows  that  although 
Sir  Donald  was  not  a  mercenary  soldier,  yet  he  was  not  inclined  to  continue 
with  the  King  of  Denmark,  unless  he  was  paid  for  the  services  of  his  Regiment. 
The  letter  is  dated  from  the  leaguer  at  Wasterbad,  12th  June,  1627,  and  evi- 
dently refers  to  the  visit  made  to  Hamburg  above  referred  to.  It  "contains 
some  curious  details  of  the  position  of  the  King's  army  and  that  of  his  opponents," 
and  Sir  Donald,  after  commenting  on  the  small  pay  given  by  the  King,  adds, 
"  bot  iff  he  opines  not  his  pourss  I  will  sik  ane  uther  maister  ;  the  King  of  Speen 
is  ane  treu  man  and  ane  good  payer."  (Second  Report  of  Royal  Commission  on 
Historical  Manuscripts,  p.  195.) 


136  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

At  the  end  of  ten  weeks,  orders  were  received  by  Sir  Donald 
to  march  with  his  men  to  Boitzenburg,  there  to  join  the  four  com- 
panies which  had  been  sent  to  Lauenburg,  but  which  had  been 
moved  from  the  latter  to  the  former  town.  They  left  General 
Morgan  on  the  10th  July,  1627,  accompanied  by  a  regiment  of 
cavalry  as  their  convoy,  and  quartered  the  first  night  at  Rotten- 
burg  "  a  strong  passe,  having  a  great  Marrish  on  both  sides,  acces- 
sible onely  by  one  narrow  causey,  which  leads  through  the  marrish 
to  the  Castell,  which  is  well  fensed  on  both  sides  with  Moates, 
Drawbridges,  and  slaught  homes,  without  all." 

After  several  alarms,  without  however  coming  to  an  engage- 
ment with  the  enemy,  they  arrived  at  Buxtehude,  which  had  been 
appointed  as  their  first  rendezvous.  Instructions  were  given  to 
continue  the  march  by  way  of  Hamburg  and  Lauenburg,  and  to 
take  up  quarters  at  Boitzenburg,  where  they  were  to  remain  for 
further  orders.  The  reason  for  this  change  of  quarters  is  thus 
given  by  Munro.  "  All  marches  are  occasioned  by  the  accidents 
of  the  warfare.  The  reason  of  this  march  was  the  enemie's  Army 
drawing  strong  to  a  head  in  Lunniburgli  land,  of  intention  to  force 
a  passage  over  the  Elve  to  come  the  easier  to  Holsten  :  his  Majestic 
being  weake  of  foote  in  this  quarter,  having  no  great  feare  of  his 
enemie  on  the  Waser,  where  we  lay  before ;  we  were  therefore 
called  to  joyne  with  the  rest  of  our  Regiment  at  Bysenburgh. 
Another  reason  of  this  march  was,  the  King's  force  in  Silesia  being 
also  weake  of  Foote,  standing  in  great  neede  of  a  timely  supply, 
we  being  able  to  endure  a  long  march,  his  Majestie  resolved,  after 
besetting  well  the  passe  on  the  Elve,  to  send  us  for  a  supply  unto 
the  Silesian  Armie  :  Nevertheless  many  times  we  see  in  warres, 
though  things  be  long  advised  on,  and  prosecuted  after  advise  duely, 
yet  the  advent  doth  not  alwayes  answer  to  mans  conjectures :  For 
it  is  a  true  old  saying,  Man  proposeth,  but  God  disposeth." 

At  Boitzenburgh  they  had  a  happy  meeting  with  their  comrades, 
but  they  were  not  destined  to  be  long  together.  In  a  few  days 
orders  were  received  that  the  Regiment  must  again  separate.  The 
Colonel  and  Lieutenant-Colonel,  with  seven  companies,  were  in- 
structed to  march  to  Ruppin  in  Brandenburg ;  while  four  com- 
panies, under  the  command  of  Major  Dunbar,  were  to  remain  for 
the  defence  of  Boitzenburg. 

Sir  Donald  was  very  much  disappointed  that  the  King  should 
again  have  ordered  the  Regiment  to  be  divided  without  his  con- 
sent. The  officers  and  men  also  grumbled  at  the  arrangement, 
but,  nevertheless,  they  faithfully  obeyed  orders.  Two  reasons  have 
been  assigned  for  this  action  on  the  part  of  the  King  :  first,  the 


Mackoy's  Regiment,  137 

refusal  of  the  officers  to  give  up  the  Scottish  Colours,  which,  it  is 
reported,  angered  him,  and  led  to  his  ordering  the  Eegiment  to 
posts  of  the  greatest  danger ;  and  second,  a  dispute  which  Sir 
Donald  had  with  him  about  the  cashiering  of  some  of  the  officers 
for  alleged  inefficiency.  The  King  insisted  on  having  his  own  way, 
notwithstanding  all  Sir  Donald  could  say  on  the  subject.  Two  of 
the  officers  referred  to  were  Captain  Learmonth  (brother  of  Lord 
Balcomy)  and  Captain  Duncan  Forbes,  most  efficient  men,  and 
highly  esteemed  by  Sir  Donald. 

Munro  mentions  that  the  parting  between  the  two  divisions  of 
the  Regiment  was  very  affecting.  There  seemed  to  be  a  presenti- 
ment of  impending  evil,  and  Captain  Learmonth,  on  taking  leave 
of  Sir  Donald  and  other  officers,  "  did  with  griefe  in  a  manner 
foretell  his  owne  fall,  alleging  they  should  never  meet  againe." 
The  sequel  proved  the  truth  of  the  sad  foreboding. 

Boitzenburg  is  a  small  town  pleasantly  situated  at  the  junction 
of  the  Boitze  and  the  Elbe,  and  being  one  of  the  leading  highways 
into  Denmark,  its  defence  was  of  great  importance.  The  inha- 
bitants, who  feared  the  cruelties  so  frequently  inflicted  by  the 
enemy,  had  all  fled.  A  vast  force  of  the  Imperialists,  under  John 
de  Tsercla,  Count  of  Tilly,  was  approaching  Denmark  from  the 
centre  of  Germany,  and  one  of  the  columns  was  marching  directly 
upon  the  point  these  four  companies  of  Highlanders  were  ordered 
to  defend.  Tilly  in  early  life  was  a  Jesuit  priest,  but  having  seen 
the  virgin  in  a  vision,  as  he  said,  command  ing  him  to  take  up  arms 
in  defence  of  the  Church,  he  entered  the  army,  and  his  talents  and 
bravery  soon  won  him  a  baton.  He  was  undoubtedly  an  able 
general;  but  .he  was  cruel  and  uncompromising,  and  the  horror, 
caused  by  his  many  deeds  of  atrocity  carried  terror  wherever  he 
went. 

It  was  on  the  third  day  after  the  departure  of  Sir  Donald  with 
the  main  portion  of  the  Kegiment,  that  the  approach  of  the  enemy 
was  announced.  They  came  to  a  halt  within  cannon  shot  distance, 
and  at  once  began  preparations  for  the  siege. 

But  Major  Dunbar  had  not  been  idle.  He  was  well  versed  in 
the  theory,  as  well  as  the  sterner  practice  of  war,  and  had  every 
qualification  for  a  commander.  He  left  nothing  undone  that  would 
enable  him  to  defend  his  post  like  a  man  of  honour.  He  under- 
mined the  bridge,  repaired  the  weak  places  in  the  walls,  and  erected 
a  strong  sconce  on  the  Luneberg  side  of  the  town.  This  sconce  the 
enemy  resolved  to  storm.  Once  across  the  Elbe,  the  rich  and 
fertile  plains  of  Holstein  could  be  easily  overrun,  and  would  be 
entirely  at  their  mercy. 


138  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

The  four  companies  of  Highlanders  numbered  only  about  six 
hundred  men,  while  the  attacking  force  numbered  at  least  ten 
thousand. 

The  first  night  a  gallant  and  successful  sortie  was  made,  under 
the  personal  leadership  of  Major  Dunbar,  and  after  inflicting  a 
severe  punishment  on  the  advanced  posts  of  the  Imperialists,  the 
little  band  returned  to  the  town,  with  scarcely  any  loss.  The 
enemy  were  determined  to  be  avenged  for  this,  and  on  the  following 
day  attacked  the  sconce  at  all  points,  but  after  a  long  and  desperate 
struggle  were  beaten  off,  with  a  loss  of  over  five  hundred  men. 
But  fresh  troops  were  pressed  forward,  and  again  the  attack  was 
renewed  with  increased  fury ;  the  front  rank  rushed  on,  and  with 
hatchets  attempted  to  force  a  passage  through  the  palisades  ;  then 
the  artillery  opened  fire,  and  every  now  and  then  a  heavy  cannon 
shot  would  boom  overhead,  or  crash  among  the  roofs  of  the  houses ; 
or,  with  a  dull  heavy  thud,  sink  into  the  turf  breastwork  of  the 
sconce.  The  defenders  replied  with  their  brass  culverins,  and  every 
shot  must  have  made  a  frightful  lane  through  the  dense  column  of 
attack.  A  close  and  deadly  fire,  too,  was  poured  by  the  Highland 
musketeers  upon  the  Imperialists,  and  though  the  latter  replied 
with  equal  rapidity,  yet  they  could  not  with  equal  effect,  for  the 
Highlanders  were  protected  breast  high,  by  the  earthen  parapets, 
while  the  assailants  were  wholly  exposed.  The  whola  fort  was 
soon  enveloped  in  smoke  :  the  enemy  could  not  be  seen,  but  the 
crash  of  their  axes  was  heard  among  the  falling  palisades,  and  the 
cries  of  the  wounded  told  of  the  dreadful  carnage.  The  Imperialists 
were  baffled,  and  again  fell  back.  But  a  third,  and  even  more 
desperate  attempt  was  made  to  carry  the  sconce.  The,  sconce,  I  may 
here  remark,  defended  the  bridge,  and  if  captured,  the  Imperialist 
cavalry  might  have  crossed  the  Elbe,  and  overrun  Holstein  before 
the  king  could  have  been  informed  that  Boitzeuburg  had  fallen. 
The  defenders  felt  that  every  effort  would  be  strained  by  the 
enemy  to  carry  the  little  fort  by  storm.  If  numbers  could  accom- 
plish this,  its  fall  was  certain.  The  storming  parties  came  on  in 
great  force,  and  made  a  most  vigorous  assault ;  but  the  firing  of 
the  Highland  musketeers  once  more  told  with  deadly  effect.  The 
thunder  of  the  enemy's  artillery  was  incessant,  yet  the  shot  did 
more  damage  to  the  houses  of  the  deserted  town  than  to  the  earth- 
works of  the  sconce.  Again  the  culverins  were  brought  into  play, 
and,  under  Dunbar's  directions,  did  dreadful  execution  on  the 
Imperialists ;  but,  in  spite  of  this,  they  continued  to  press  on,  and 
the  gaps  made  in  their  ranks,  by  the  well-directed  fire  of  the 
Highlanders,  were  constantly  and  steadily  filled  up.  The  loss  was 


Mackay's  Regiment.  139 

not,  however,  all  on  the  side  of  the  enemy.  Many  of  the  defenders 
were  killed,  and  a  large  number  wounded. 

But  after  a  tune  the  firing  of  the  Highlanders  slackened,  and 
then  suddenly  ceased.  Their  supply  of  ammunition  was  exhausted  ! 
The  Imperialists  surprised  at  the  unexpected  silence  on  the  part  of 
the  defenders,  instinctively  guessed  the  cause,  and  redoubling  their 
efforts  made  a  rush  at  the  walls.*  The  Highlanders,  for  a  moment, 
were  at  their  wits  end ;  but  the  energy  of  despair  prompted  them. 
They  tore  the  sand  from  the  ramparts,  and  throw  it  in  the  eyes  of 
their  assailants  as  they  attempted  to  scale  the  walls ;  and  then 
furiously  attacking  them  with  the  butt  ends  of  their  muskets,  drove 
them  from  the  sconce.  But  it  was  a  dreadful  struggle.  At  last  the 
trumpets  of  the  enemy  sounded  the  retreat,  the  storming  party  fell 
back,  the  fire  of  the  artillery  ceased,  and  Boitzenburg  was  saved. 
The  enemy  had  again  over  five  hundred  men  killed,  and .  a  very 
large  number  wounded. 

The  Highlanders  had  two  officers  and  forty  men  killed.  The 
officers  were  Captain  Learmonth,+  a  good  and  brave  soldier,  and 
his  Lieutenant,  David  Martin,  "  an  old  stout  and  expert  officer," 
as  Munro  describes  him  ;  "  while,"  he  adds,  "  many  others  carried 
the  true  markes  of  their  valour  imprinted  in  their  bodies,  for  their 
Countrie's  credit." 

The  Imperialists  finding  Boitzenburg  so  well  defended,  decided 
on  crossing  the  Elbe  at  another  point.  This  they  effected  consider- 
ably higher  up  the  river,  where,  coming  unexpectedly,  they  sur- 
prised the  German  guard,  and  secured  a  passage  across.  In  the 
meantime,  the  King  of  Denmark  had  sent  orders  to  Major  Dunbar 
to  retire  from  the  sconce,  bring  off  his  cannon,  if  he  could,  and 
blow  up  the  bridge.  He  was  then  to  leave  two  companies  of  the 
Highlanders  at  Lauenburg,  and  retire  with  the  rest  to  Gluckstadt. 
All  these  orders  he  carried  out  in  a  masterly  manner. 

This  was  the  first  opportunity  the  Mackay  Regiment  had  of 
showing  the  quality  of  its  men.  Gallantly  did  they  distinguish 
themselves,  and  nobly  did  they  fulfil  the  hazardous  task  to  which 
they  had  been  detailed.  It  was  a  desperate  position  to  defend, 
and  looked  like  certain  destruction  to  all.  Their  deeds  showed 
what  they  were— a  band  of  Scottish  Inmncibles.^. 

*  Monro  says — "  There  was  also  a  Scottish  gentleman  under  the  enemy,  who 
coming  to  scale  the  walls,  said  aloud,  Have  with  you,  gentlemen,  thinke  not  now 
you  are  on  the  streets  of  Edinburgh  bravading :  One  of  his  owne  country-men 
thrusting  him  through  the  body  with  n  pike,  he  ended  there."  There  were  many 
Scotsmen  in  the  service  of  the  Imperialists. 

t  See  ante,  page  137. 

J  Gustavus  Adolphus,  when  the  Regiment  was  in  his  service,  spoke  of  it  as 
the  Scottish  Invintibles. 


140  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Munro  was  with  the  main  division  of  the  Regiment,  but  he 
writes — "  This  Skonce  so  well  maintained  by  our  Countrymen  is 
to  their  prayse  recorded  at  length  in  the  Dutch  Story  of  the  Danes 
Warres,  where  the  curious  Eeader  may  learn  more  of  it.  ... 
After  this  service  the  renowne  spread  so  abroad,  where  ever  we 
came,  that  the  Gentrie  of  the  Country  were  ready  meeting  us,  pro- 
viding all  necessaries  for  us.  The  Duke  of  Wymar,  the  Dukes  of 
Medinburgh,  with  a  number  of  gallant  Ladies,  did  visit  us  in  our 
march,  to  congratulate  with  us  the  good  fortune,  and  good  service, 
done  by  our  Camerades.  But  if  we  should  look  to  the  outside  of 
souldiers,  these  foure  Companies  were  the  meanest  of  our  Eegiment 
to  the  outward  appearance  .  .  .  For  though,  as  I 
said,  by  appearance  to  looke  but  on  their  outsides,  they  were  the 
meanest  in  show  of  our  whole  Regiment ;  yet  God  that  gives  hearts, 
and  courage  unto  men,  made  them  the  instruments  of  our  Regiment's 
first  credit  in  the  warres  of  Germany.  They  were,  I  confesse,  led 
by  brave  officers,  which  were  seconded  and  obeyed  by  resolute  and 
stout  souldiers,  that  gained  victory  and  credit,  over  their  enemies, 
in  extremitie,  by  casting  sand  in  their  eyes  .  .  .  shewing 
that  sometimes  the  meanest  things  doe  helpe  us  much  against  our 
enemies,  especially  when  the  LORD  will  blesse  our  fighting." 

The  two  companies,  which  were  left  by  Major  Dunbar  for  the 
defence  of  Lauenburg,  were  speedily  besieged.  Count  Tilly  sum- 
moned the  small  garrison  to  surrender,  but  Major  Wilson,  the 
officer  in  command,  refused  to  comply  with  this  demand.  The 
enemy's  batteries  then  opened  fire  on  the  castle,  and  after  a  brief 
cannonade,  Major  Wilson,  seeing  he  could  not  hold  his  position, 
asked  for  a  truce  to  arrange  terms  of  surrender.  This  was  granted, 
and  conditions  were  agreed  upon.  These  were,  that  the  garrison 
should  march  out  with  bag  and  baggage,  and  drums  beating,  and 
that  they  should  have  a  convoy  to  conduct  them  to  Gluckstadt. 
Count  Tilly  had  been  severely  wounded  during  the  siege,  or  pro- 
bably he  would  not  have  agreed  to  such  terms.  Pledges  having 
been  given,  the  agreement  was  duly  signed,  but  Major  Wilson  had 
not  been  careful  as  to  details.  On  leaving  the  castle  his  colours 
were  taken  from  him,  and  on  his  complaining  of  what  he  considered 
a  breach  of  faith,  he  was  told  to  read  the  agreement.  He  was  then 
forced  to  march  to  Gluckstadt  without  colours.  For  this  oversight 
he  was  dismissed  from  the  Regiment  with  disgrace,  and  his  com- 
mand given  to  Captain  Duncan  Forbes,  one  of  the  officers  who  had 
been  cashiered  by  the  King  of  Denmark.  This  showed  that  the 
King  had  committed  a  great  mistake  in  acting  as  he  did,  for  Major 
Wilson  was  one  of  the  officers  he  had  appointed  over  Captains 


Mackay's  Regiment  141 

Learmonth  and  Forbes,  to  the  annoyance  of  Sir  Donald  Mackay, 
as  already  mentioned. 

But  there  was  no  idle  time  for  the  Highlanders.  Major  Dun- 
bar  and  the  four  companies  were  at  once  ordered  to  defend  the 
Castle  of  Bredenburg,  for  the  enemy  had  now  got  a  footing  in 
Holstein,  and  were  over-running  the  land,  while  the  troops  of 
King  Christian  were  fast  falling  back  before  them.  Bredenburg 
was  the  principal  stronghold  of  the  Counts  of  Eantzau,  a  noble 
and  warlike  family  of  Holstein ;  and  Dunbar  was  instructed  that 
the  castle  was  not  to  be  surrendered  on  any  condition.  A  large 
number  of  people  had  taken  refuge  in  it,  when  the  enemy  first 
entered  the  land,  and  had  carried  with  them  a  great  amount  of 
treasure.  There  was  also  stored  in  it  much  valuable  property 
belonging  to  Count  Kantzau. 

The  little  garrison  sent  to  maintain  this  important  place 
numbered  only  about  four  hundred  men,  for  Boitzenburg  and 
Lauenburg  had  thinned  the  ranks  of  the  four  companies  of  High- 
landers considerably.  The  castle  was  but  poorly  fortified,  and  the 
enemy  came  so  suddenly  upon  it,  that  Dunbar  had  scarcely  time 
to  get  the  drawbridge  pulled  up,  when  Tilly  and  his  forces  sur- 
rounded the  place.  A  trumpeter  was-  at  once  sent  by  Tilly  with 
a  summons,  demanding  an  instant  surrender.  This,  of  course, 
Dunbar  refused.  The  enemy  immediately  began  a  hot  and  vigor- 
ous siege,  which  lasted  without  intermission  for  six  days.  The 
defenders  resisted  bravely,  and  their  shot  told  heavily  on  the  ranks 
of  the  assailants.  At  length  the  enemy's  guns  made  two  breaches 
in  the  walls,  and  the  Imperialists  approached  the  moat.  Tilly  then 
sent  a  drummer  to  the  Major  to  see  if  he  would  now  surrender,  but 
the  drummer  returned  with  the  answer  "  that  so  long  as  there  was 
blood  in  Dunbar's  head,  the  place  should  never  be  given  over."  This 
answer  so  incensed  Tilly,  that  he  swore  when  once  he  got  "  the 
upper  hand  over  them,  they  should  all  die  without  quarter."  The 
defenders  must  have  been  very  much  exhausted  after  these  six  days 
of  severe  exertion,  and  there  was  no  relief  for  them,  while  the 
enemy  were  able  to  send  fresh  men  to  the  assault  every  few  hours. 

Shortly  after  Dunbar's  answer  had  been  returned,  the  brave 
man  was  struck  on  the  head  by  a  musket  ball,  and  instantly  killed. 
But  even  though  he  was  dead  the  other  officers  would  not  capitu- 
late, and  the  siege  went  on  with  renewed  fury.  Captain  Duncan 
Forbes  was  the  next  officer  to  fall,  then  Lieutenant  Barbour  and 
Captain  Carmichael.  The  enemy  had  now  passed  the  moat,  and 
getting  possession  of  the  castle,  a  wholesale  massacre  took  place. 
All  quarter  was  refused,  and  every  one,  without  distinction  of  rank, 


142  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

age,  or  sex,  was  cruelly  put  to  the  sword.  With  the  exception 
of  Ensign  Lumsden,  who  escaped  almost  miraculously,  every  officer 
and  man  of  the  Highland  detachment  was  either  killed  while  in 
the  discharge  of  duty,  or  savagely  butchered.  Even  their  chaplain 
was  put  to  death.  On  his  knees  he  begged  for  life,  but  mercy  was 
denied  him.  While,  of  the  country  people  who  had  taken  refuge 
in  the  castle,  only  a  few  were  able  to  escape  with  their  lives  from 
the  brutal  soldiery.  After  the  slaughter,  search  was  made  for 
Major  Dunbar's  body,  which,  having  been  found  by  the  Imperialists, 
was  barbarously  mutilated. 

The  enemy  had  above  a  thousand  men  killed  before  they  took 
the  castle. 

Munro,  who  received  an  account  of  these  proceedings  from  Ensign 
Lumsden,  gives  a  harrowing  picture  of  what  took  place.  "  The 
whole  court  and  lodgings  running  with  blood,  with  which  walles  and 
pavements  are  sprinkled.  .  .  .  These  cruell  murderers  did 
by  their  monstrous  and  prodigious  massacre  "  show  no  "  mercy  to 
officer,  souldier,  or  Preacher.  .  .  .  Was  there  greater  perfidie 
in  the  world  than  was  used  here,  willingly  to  harme  the  dead,  and 
the  innocent  ?  Eor  to  wrong  an  innocent  Preacher  was  savage, 
beseeming  a  beast,  not  a  man ;  and  to  give  a  stabbe,  as  was  done 
here,  for  the  innocent  smile  of  an  Infant,  was  devillish  blacke  at 
the  heart.  .  .  .  And  I  perswade  my  selfe,  none  but  villanous 
persons,  being  Commanders,  ever  suffered  the  like  to  have  been 
done  without  moderation." 

This  terrible  disaster  left  only  the  seven  companies  of  the 
Regiment,  with  which,  as  I  have  already  mentioned,  Sir  Donald 
had  been  ordered  to  march  from  Boitzenburg  to  Ruppin.  At 
Ruppin,  instructions  were  given  by  General  Slamersdorff,  who  then 
commanded  the  King  of  Denmark's  forces  in  that  district,  that 
after  resting  for  eight  days,  the  march  was  to  be  continued  into 
Silesia,  to  join  the  Danish  army  in  that  territory.  Within  a  week, 
however,  the  startling  intelligence  was  received,  that  the  Danish 
army  in  Silesia  had  been  totally  defeated,  that  the  victors  had 
pushed  rapidly  on  and  crossed  the  Elbe,  and  that  their  troops 
occupied  all  the  passes  leading  into  Holstein.  To  retreat  by  land 
and  join  the  king's  army  was  thus  impossible,  and  as  the  Regiment 
could  not  remain  where  it  was,  orders  were  given  to  make  for  the 
island  of  Poe],  near  Wismar,  on  the  Baltic,  and  wait  there  till 
shipping  could  be  provided  to  carry  them  to  Holstein. 

General  Slamersdorff  had  appointed  Perleburg,  a  small  town  on 
the  Stepnitz,  as  the  rendezvous  for  the  remnants  of  the  defeated 
army,  and  thither  they  marched  with  all  haste.  When  mustered, 


Mackay's  Regiment  143 

they  numbered  about  ten  thousand  men  of  all  arms.  The  General 
seems  to  have  been  very  much  frightened,  for  he  marched  the 
troops  night  and  day  until  they  got  to  Wismar,  being  naturally 
afraid  that  the  enemy  might  get  between  him  and  the  sea.  The 
troops  encamped  about  a  mile  from  Wismar,  and  opposite  the 
island  of  Poel.  They  made  a  drawbridge  to  the  island,  and  forti- 
fied it  with  sconces  and  redoubts.  It  was  harvest  time,  and  being 
uncertain  how  long  they  might  have  to  remain,  they  conveyed  pro- 
visions and  stores  to  the  island,  sufficient  to  last  them  all  winter, 
should  they  be  kept  there  so  long.  But  they  only  remained  five 
weeks.  Munro  says,  that  during  this  time  they  had  "  abundance 
of  flesh  and  drinke  "  but  were  slightly  provided  of  bread  and  salt 
a  Souldier  had  but  one  pound  of  bread  allowed  him  in 
ten  dayes,  if  that  he  tooke  it  not  off  the  field  ;  "  that  is,  unless  he 
went  to  the  field  and  gathered  there  wheat  or  rye.  The  High- 
landers, he  further  adds,  called  their  encampment  "the  flesh 
Leager,  and  justly,  for  the  Souldiers  were  so  cloyed  with  flesh,  that 
Oxen  flesh  was  let  lie  on  the  ground,  the  Hides  taken  off  by  the 
Souldiers  and  sold  for  a  Can  of  Beere  a  Hide,  the  whole  body  left 
on  the  place  untouched."  Our  countrymen,  also,  seemed  to  con- 
sider the  sheep's  head  and  trotters  quite  as  favourite  a  dish  then, 
as  many  do  at  the  present  time,  for  it  is  recorded  of  the  soldiers, 
that  at  last  they  got  "  weary  of  mutton  also,  eating  only  the  heads 
and  feet,  being  boyld  with  wheat  brought  off  the  fields."  One  of 
the  results  of  eating  so  much  animal  food  without  bread  or  salt, 
was  the  breaking  out  of  a  serious  pestilence  in  the  camp,  of  which 
many  soldiers  died ;  "  but  of  our  nation  fewest,  for  to  speake 
truth,"  I  again  quote  from  Munro,  "  I  never  did  see  more  durable 
men  against  all  Toyle,  travelle  and  tediousnesse,  than  they  were." 
The  people  of  Wismar  behaved  very  discourteously  to  the  officers 
and  men  of  the  defeated  army,  even  the  merchants  being  unwilling 
to  sell  them  such  articles  as  they  desired  to  purchase.  "  Likewise 
I  did  observe  first  here,"  Munro  further  adds,  "  that  the  Townes  of 
Germanic  are  best  friends  ever  to  the  masters  of  the  field,  in  flat- 
tering the  victorious,  and  in  persecuting  the  loser,  which  is  ever  well 
scene  in  all  estates." 

At  last  arrangements  were  completed  for  transporting  the  army 
to  Holstein.  Ships  arrived  from  Copenhagen,  and  the  embarkation 
at  once  took  place.  General  Slamersdorff  was  left  with  two 
thousand  men  to  defend  the  island,  while  the  Duke  of  Saxe- 
Weimar,  with  eight  thousand  horse  and  foot,  sailed  for  Heilegen- 
haven,  where  the  whole  force  was  safely  landed.  The  Highlanders 
were  included  in  the  eight  thousand. 


144  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Immediately  after  landing,  orders  were  given  to  march  to 
Oldenburg,  where  it  was  hoped  the  Danish  forces,  if  united  with 
the  eight  thousand  just  landed,  might  be  able  to  defeat  Count 
Tilly,  who  was  known  to  be  advancing  with  an  immense  army,  for 
the  purpose  of  overrunning  Holstein.  The  Pass  of  Oldenburg, 
through  which  the  invading  army  must  of  necessity  come,  had,  by 
some  strange  overlook  on  the  part  of  the  Danish  generals,  been 
left  unfortified.  The  Highlanders,  on  arriving  at  the  Pass,  imme- 
diately set  to  work  to  make  trenches,  so  as  to  secure  it  against  the 
enemy.  They  worked  all  night,  and  next  day  till  noon,  when  they 
discovered  the  Imperialists  advancing  in  formidable  numbers  of 
horse  and  foot.  Before  three  o'clock  in  the  afternoon  the  latter 
had  planted  their 'cannon,  and  the  Danish  general  being  informed 
of  this,  orders  were  given  to  double  the  guards,  barricade  the  pass ; 
and,  during  the  night,  cast  up  a  redoubt  before  it. 

By  day  light  the  next  morning  the  battle  began — the  enemy 
trying  to  force  the  pass,  the  Danish  army  to  keep  it.  The  fighting 
was  mainly  confined  to  the  cavalry.  At  last  the  Danish  soldiers 
began  to  give  way,  when  the  General  commanded  Sir  Donald,  "  in 
all  haste  .  .  to  march  with  the  halfe  of  his  Regiment  to  main- 
taine  the  passe."  The  General  asked  the  Highlanders,  as  Sir 
Donald  was  leading  them  on,  if  they  went  on  with  courage.  This 
being  interpreted  to  the  men,  they,  "  shouting  for  joy,  cast  off  their 
hats,  rejoicing  in  their  march,  seeming  glad  of  the  occasion."  Then, 
commending  their  courage  and  resolution,  the  General  blessed  them, 
and  passed  on.  As  the  Highlanders  advanced,  the  enemy's  cannon 
played  continuously  upon  them,  and  their  colours  were  torn  in 
pieces.  Lieutenant  Hugh  Eoss  was  the  first  that  felt  the  smart  of 
the  cannon  ball.  He  was  shot  in  the  leg,  and  falling,  called  out 
courageously,  "  Go  on  bravely,  comrades,  I  wish  I  had  a  Treene 
(i.e.  a  wooden  leg)  for  your  sakes."  As  they  drew  near  the  Pass, 
the  Germans  [Holsteineers]  that  were  on  service  had  all  fled  except 
their  Captain.  The  Pass  was  thus  nearly  lost ;  but  Sir  Donald 
hurried  an  officer  forward  with  a  platoon  of  musketeers,  "  mostly 
young  gentlemen  of  his  own  company,"  with  directions  to  maintain 
the  Pass,  which  they  did  ;  "  but  being  hard  pressed,  many  of  them 
died  in  defence  of  it." 

The  others  were  not  idle,  and  a  hot  engagement  took  place.  The 
pikemeu  had  to  stand  "  for  two  howers  in  battell  under  mercy  of 
Cannon  and  musket,  so  that  their  sufferings  and  hurts  were  greater 
both  amongst  officers  and  souldiers  than  the  hurt  done  to  the  Mus- 
ketiers,  for  few  of  their  officers  escaped  unhurt,  and  divers  also  were 
killed."  During  the  engagement,  a  barrel  of  gunpowder  "was 


Mackay's  Regiment  145 

blowne  up,  whereby,"  Sir  Donald,  "  was  burnt  in  tbe  face,  and 
many  souldiers  spoiled."  The  enemy,  having  seen  the  explosion  of 
gunpowder,  again  tried  to  force  the  passage  ;  but  Iheir  efforts  were 
in  vain,  ami  they  had  to  retire.  The  first  division  of  the  Regiment 
had  been  fighting  upwards  of  two  hours,  when  the  second  division 
came  up,  "  who  falling  on  fresh,  with  man-like  courage,  the  other 
division"  fell  "  off  to  refresh  themselves." 

The  engagement  continued  for  some  time  with  unabated  vigour; 
but  after  mid-day  the  Regiment  was  enabled  to  keep  the  pass  "  by 
companies,  one  company  relieving  another  till  night,  that  it  grew 
darke,  and  then  darknesse,  the  enemy  of  Valour,  made  the  service 
to  cease."  This  engagement  lasted  from  seven  o'clock  in  the  morn- 
ing till  about  four  o'clock  in  the  afternoon.  The  Imperialists  cer- 
tainly got  a  check  ;  and  by  the  indomitable  pluck  of  the  High- 
landers, the  Danish  army  was  saved  for  that  day,  and  an  opportunity 
afforded  the  Generals  to  decide  on  future  action.  But  it  was  a  sad 
struggle  for  our  brave  countrymen  ;  for  in  the  unequal  contest  they 
had  three  officers  and  about  four  hundred  men  killed,  and  thirteen 
officers  wounded.*  The  officers  killed  were  Andrew  Munro, 
Farquhar  Munro,  and  Murdoch  Poison.  Among  the  wounded  were 
Sir  Donald  Mackay,  Lieutenant-Colonel  Alexander  Seton,  Captain 
Sir  Patrick  Mackay,  Captain  John  Forbes  of  Tulloch,  and  Munro, 
the  author  of  the  Expedition. 

Such  a  service  might  have  been  considered  most  ample  work  for 
any  one  regiment  to  have  accomplished  in  a  single  day,  but  there 
was  yet  more  work  in  store  for  the  Highlanders — they  had  again  to 
guard  the  Pass.  The  General,  apparently  out  of  his  whole  army, 
had  no  other  regiment  he  could  trust  for  this  important  duty. 

Munro  says,  the  Duke  of  Weimar,  after  paying  a  high  compli- 
ment to  Sir  Donald  and  his  Regiment,  requested  "him  that,  as  the 
Regiment  had  done  bravely  all  day,  in  being  the  instruments  under 
God  of  his  safety,  and  of  the  armies,  he  would  once  more  request 
that  his  Regiment  might  hold  out  the  inch  as  they  had  done  the 
span,  till  it  was  darke,  and  then  they  should  be  relieved,  as  he  was 
a  Christian." 

The  Duke  faithfully  kept  his  promise.  That  night  the  Council 
of  "War  decided  that  it  would  be  hopeless  to  attempt  to  stand 


*  One  of  the  officers  wounded,  an  Ensign,  "  being  shot  throush  the  body 
above  the  left  pappe,  went  a  little  aside  till  he  was  drest,  and  returned  again  to 
his  station,  keeping  his  colours  in  his  hand,  till  night,  before  the  enemy,  never 
fainting  with  his  wound,  an  example  of  rare  courage,  and  of  great  strength  of 
bodie,  neither  did  he  ever  thereafter  keepe  bed  or  lodging  one  hour,  more  than 
ordinary,  for  all  this  hurt."— Munro, 

10 


146  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness, 

against  Tilly's  overwhelming  forces.  It  was  therefore  resolved  that 
the  army  should  retire  with  all  speed  to  Heiligenhaven,  get  on  board 
the  ships  lying  there,  and  sail  for  Denmark.  The  Duke  remembered 
his  promise  to  Sir  Donald,  and  insisted  that,  as  the  Highlanders 
had  behaved  so  heroically,  they  should  have  some  special  mark  of 
favour.  It  was  accordingly  arranged  that  they,  as  they  "  deserved 
best,"  should  be  "  first  brought  off,  getting  orders  to  march  in  the 
night  to  ships."  Munro  writes  regarding  this  as  follows  : — "  Here 
also  I  found  that  a  friend  in  need  was  better  than  gold,  for  had  not 
the  Duke  of  Wymar  beene  our  friend,  we  had  bin  left  behinde  at 
the  passe,  and  beene  prisoners  the  next  day  with  the  rest  of  the 
Army.  .  .  .  Likewise,  I  have  found  by  experience  that  those 
who  fight  best  in  occasions,  have  ever  the  best  of  it,  though  they 
chance  to  suffer  loss ;  if  it  come  to  a  retreat,  commonly  they  are 
most  respected  and  come  first  off,  as  we  did  at  this  time,  and  it  is 
ever  better  to  fight  well,  and  to  retire  timely,  than  for  a  man  to  suf- 
fer himselfe  to  be  taken  prisoner,  as  many  were  that  morning  after 
our  retreat." 

When  all  was  quiet,  the  retreat  began.  The  General,  accom- 
panied by  Sir  Donald,  was  the  first  to  leave.  Then  the  Highlanders 
followed  •  it  having  been  arranged  that  they  should  embark  before 
any  of  the  other  troops.  It  was  a  moonlight  night  in  October,  and 
at  ten  o'clock  they  reached  Heiligenhaven,  and  drew  up  on  the 
shore.  There,  it  had  been  arranged,  they  were  to  wait  for  Sir 
Donald,  whose  object  in  leaving  in  advance  of  his  Regiment  was 
that  he  might  procure  shipping  for  their  transport.  He  had  gone 
out  to  the  roadstead  for  this  purpose  ;  but  there  was  quite  a  panic 
among  the  mariners,  and  he  could  not  get  any  one  to  obey  him. 
Munro's  statement  is  that  they  had  been  alarmed  by  the  incessant 
firing  which  they  had  heard  during  the  day,  and  "  feare  so  possest 
them  all  that  they  lacked  hands  to  worke  and  hearts  to  obey,"  and 
Sir  Donald  had  to  return  without  being  able  to  induce  the  masters 
of  any  of  the  ships  to  bring  their  vessels  near  to  the  shore  to  receive 
his  men. 

What  had  been  intended  to  be  a  quiet  and  orderly  retreat,  had 
become  a  hurried  and  pell-mell  rout ;  for  when  it  was  knowu  that 
the  Highlanders  had  left  the  Pass,  the  rest  of  the  army,  horse  and 
foot,  made  a  rush  from  the  camp  to  the  seaboard  ;  and  ere  long  the 
cavalry  came  galloping  down  to  the  water's  edge  in  the  greatest  dis- 
order. There  was  no  head  to  direct,  and  everything  was  in  confu- 
sion. The  officers  had  lost  all  control  over  their  men,  and  discipline 
was  at  an  end.  The  number  of  fugitives  rapidly  increased,  and  soon 
men  and  horses,  pioneers,  musketeers,  and  pikemen,  baggage  and 


Mackay's  Regiment  147 

ammunition,   were  crowded  in   an    unwieldy  and   unmanageable 
mass  on  the  pier  and  shore. 

Sir  Donald  realised  the  gravity  of  the  situation,  and  resolved 
upon  a  plan  by  means  of  which  the  remains  of  his  Eegiment  might 
be  brought  off  with  safety.  The  enemy  was  known  to  be  in  pur- 
suit, and  there  was  not  a  moment  to  be  lost.  He  must  either 
embark  his  men  at  once,  make  a  desperate  but  useless  stand  against 
the  enemy,  to  "  die  with  back  to  the  water  and  face  to  the  foe," 
or  surrender  with  the  broken  Danish  army  to  Count  Tilly.  The 
runaway  cavalry  (which  consisted  chiefly  of  German  levies  in  the 
Danish  service),  had  crowded  the  long  mole  or  pier,  and  were  in 
the  act  of  seizing  the  shipping  for  the  conveyance  of  themselves 
and  their  horses.  Sir  Donald  saw  he  had  only  one  chance,  and 
ordered  his  Highlanders  to  clear  the  pier  of  these  horsemen.  "  Pike- 
men  to  the  front !  "  he  cried  ;  and  we  are  told  that  formed  in  line, 
eight  ranks  deep,  the  whole  breadth  of  the  mole,  the  Highlanders, 
pikemen  in  front  and  musketeers  in  the  rear,  steadily  advanced, 
and  charging  the  horsemen,  forced  them  over  the  shelving  edges 
of  the  pier  into  the  water.  But  the  channel  fortunately  was 
shallow,  so  they  escaped  drowning.  The  Highlanders  seized  upon 
a  ship,  and  after  placing  their  colours  and  a  number  of  men  on 
board,  had  it  moved  a  little  from  the  shore  to  prevent  its  getting 
aground.  This  accomplished,  the  ship's  boat  was  manned  with 
an  officer  and  some  musketeers,  who  were  "  sent  to  force  other 
ships  out  of  the  Roade  "  into  their  service,  and  thus  a  sufficient 
number  of  vessels  being  secured,  the  Eegiment  was  at  last  safely 
embarked.  All,  except  some  villains,  as  Munro  calls  them,  who  had 
"  gone  a  plundering  in  the  Towne,  but  not  knowing  the  danger 
they  were  in/'  stayed  away  all  night,  and  were  taken  next  morn- 
ing by  the  enemy.  It  was  hard  work  getting  the  men  shipped. 
Some  of  the  officers  toiled  all  night  ferrying  the  sick  and  wounded 
from  the  shore,  and  the  last  boatful  was  just  leaving  when  the 
Imperialists  entered  Heiligenhaven.  It  was  such  a  narrow  escape 
that  Captain  Robert  Munro's  boat  was  beaten  from  the  shore  by 
the  enemy's  horsemen.  Among  the  many  incidents  recorded, 
Munro  mentions  the  following  : — "  A  Gentleman  borne  in  the 
Isles  of  Scotland,  called  Alexander  Mac-Worche,  being  wounded 
in  the  head,  and  shot  in  the  arme,  the  enemies  Horsemen  shooting 
at  him  with  Pistols,  he  leapes  from  the  shoare,  with  his  cloathes 
on,  notwithstanding  those  wounds,  and  swimmes  to  my  Cosen 
Captaine  Monro  his  boate,  and  being  brought  in,  died  the  next 
day,  and  was  much  lamented  for  of  his  Camera des,  as  a  Gentleman 
of  great  hope."  The  baggage  of  the  Highlanders  and  the  horses 
of  their  mounted  officers  had  all  to  be  left  behind. 


1 48  Gaelic  Society  of  In  verness. 

Tilly's  army  had  now  possession  of  Heiligenhaven  ;  and  the 
Highlanders  from  on  board  their  ships  witnessed  the  surrender  of 
the  Duke  of  Weimar's  army  to  the  Imperialists.  They  gave  them- 
selves up  without  striking  a  blow  !  The  German  horsemen,  whom 
the  Highlanders  had  driven  from  the  pier,  were  mercenaries,  and 
nothing  more,  for  they  at  once  took  service  under  Tilly,  being 
"  quite  ready  to  fight  to-morrow  the  Master  they  had  sworn  to 
defend  to-day."  Munro  very  quaintly  describes  the  scene.  He 
says — We  saw  "  the  enemies  Army  drawne  up  in  battell,  horse, 
foote  and  cannon,  and  "  the  routed  Danish  "  Army  of  foote  and 
horse  opposite  unto  them  :  I  did  see  six  and  thirty  Cornets  of 
horse  being  full  troupes  without  loosing  of  one  Pistoll  give  them- 
selves prisoners  in  the  enemies  mercy,  whereof  the  most  part  took 
service.  As  also  I  did  see  five  Regiments  of  Foote,  being  forty 
Colours,*  follow  their  examples,  rendering  themselves  and  their 
Colours  without  l:osing  of  one  musket."  Of  the  whole  of  the 
Duke  of  Weimar's  army,  the  Mackay  Regiment  alone  escaped. 

The  loss  of  his  army  was  not  the  only  misfortune  that  this 
stroke  of  ill-luck  brought  to  the  King  of  Denmark.  The  provinces 
of  Holstein  and  Jutland  were  also  lost,  and  from  that  day  till 
the  siege  of  Stralsuud,  his  whole  military  operations  were,  with  a 
few  exceptions,  little  more  than  a  series  of  flights.  For  a  time 
the  Austrian  Eagle  spread  its  wings  over  the  mainland  of  Denmark, 
from  the  Elbe  to  the  Skager  Rack,  and  the  Danish  Islands  alone 
remained  under  the  sway  of  King  Christian. 

Sir  DonaM,  on  leaving  Heiligenhaven  with  his  Highlanders, 
sailed  for  Flensborg,  to  report  what  had  taken  place  to  the  King, 
and  receive  further  orders  from  His  Majesty.  The  King  was  much 
grieved  on  learning  the  heavy  loss  his  forces  had  sustained  ;  but 
seeing  he  could  not  then  again  enter  the  field  against  the  Imperi- 
alists, he  prudently  resolved  to  act  upon  the  defensive,  till  he 
could  organise  another  army  for  active  operations.  In  the  mean- 
time he  directed  Sir  Donald  to  proceed  to  Assens,  in  the  Island  of 
Funen,  and  there  the  Highlanders  landed.  It  was  only  a  year 
since  they  had  left  Scotland,  and  six  months  since  they  had  entered 
on  active  service,  but  the  struggles  they  had  been  engaged  in  had 
been  of  so  sanguinary  a  character,  that  already  the  Regiment  was 
reduced  to  less  than  half  the  number  which  embarked  at  Cromarty 
on  the  10th  of  October,  1626.  "We  landed  at  Assens  of  our 
Regiment,"  says  Munro,  "  eight  hundred  souldiers  besides  one 
hundred  and  fifty  wounded  and  sicke  men,  and  being  put  in  good 

*  Each  company  in  those  days  carried  a  colour. 


Mackay's  Regiment.  149 

quarters,  we  rest  us,  leaving  the  enemy  to  rest  in  the  fat  land  of 
Holaten  and  YewtUind,  having  a  good  broad  and  deep  fossey  (the 
sea)  betwixt  us,  we  were  by  Gods  mercy  secured." 

The  King  of  Denmark  had  also  gone  to  Assens,  and  after  Sir 
.Donald  had  consulted  with  his  Majesty,  it  was  arranged  that  two 
companies  of  the  Regiment  were  to  remain  there,  while  the  rest 
should  he  quartered  in  the  neighbouring  villages.  A  comfortable 
and  convenient  hotel,  or  country  house,  was  also  provided  for  "  the 
wounded  and  sicko  men,  where  they  were  to  be  entertained  together 
till  they  were  cured,  and  his  Majestic  graciously  ordained  skilfull 
Chirurgians,  diligently  to  attend  them,  being  an  hundred  and  fiftie, 
besides  officers." 

It  was  after  getting  to  Assens  that  news  reached  them  of  the 
gallant  defence  of  Bredenburg,  and  the  massacre  of  the  garrison. 
The  news  filled  every  one  with  the  deepest  sorrow. 

The  heavy  losses  the  Regiment  had  sustained  now  became 
mat'.er  for  serious  consideration.  Sir  Donald  called  the  officers  to- 
gether for  consultation,  and  the  result  of  their  deliberation  was  that 
he  entered  into  a  new  agreement  with  the  King  for  a  further  prose- 
cution of  the  cause  in  which  they  had  embarked,  and  at  once  made 
preparations  to  go  to  Scotland  lor  the  purpose  of  bringing  over  a 
thousand  men  to  recruit  the  Regiment.  Officers  from  each  company, 
it  was  arranged,  were  to  go  with  him,  and  in  most  cases  the  captains 
were  selected,  leaving  the  command  of  their  respective  companies 
during  their  absence  to  their  lieutenants.  By  taking  these  officers 
with  him,  Sir  Donald  expected  to  recruit  with  greater  expedition 
than  if  he  had  gone  alone. 

Captain  Robert  Munro  (the  author  of  the  Expedition)  having 
done  duty  as  major  for  some  time,  was,  on  the  news  of  the  death  of 
Major  Dunbar,  appointed  by  his  "  Colonel's  respect  and  his  Majes- 
ties favour,"  major  of  the  Regiment ;  or,  as  the  rank  was  then  de- 
signated, sergeant-major,  an  office  almost  precisely  similar  to  that  of 
adjutant  of  the  present  day.  Munro's  account  of  his  instalment  is 
interesting,  as  the  description  of  a  bygone  military  ceremony. 
"  Orders  were  given  unto  the  Commissary  that  mustered  us,  accord- 
ing to  my  Patent  [or  Commission]  to  place  me  as  sergeant-major 
over  the  Regiment,  which  all  duely  obeyed  by  the  Commissary,  the 
Drummer  Major,  accompanied  with  the  rest  of  the  drummers  of  the 
Regiment,  being  commanded,  beate  a  bancke  in  head  oi  the  Regiment. 
The  Commissary  having  his  Majesties  Patent  in  his  hand  [the  Com- 
mission was  signed  by  the  King],  makes  a  speech,  signifying  his 
Majesties  will  unto  all  the  officers  of  the  Regiment,  and  without 
any  contradiction  placed  me  Sergeant-major,  and  delivering  me  my 


150  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Patent  takes  me  by  the  hand,  as  the  Colonell  did,  Lievetenant- 
Colonell  with  the  whole  officers  of  the  Kegiment,  wishing  me  joy, 
with  the  general!  applause  of  the  whole  Soldateska,  which  ceremony 
ended,  the  Kegiment  marched  off,  by  companies  unto  their  severall 
quarters  as  before." 

The  officers  that  accompanied  Sir  Donald  Mackay  to  Scotland, 
were  Captains  Sir  Patrick  Mackay,  John  Munro  of  Obisdell,  John 
Munro  (commonly  called  Assynt  Munro),  Sinclair,  Forbes,  and 
Annan,  and  Lieutenant  Robert  Stewart.  Major  Munro  was  left 
in  command  of  the  Eegiment,  as  Lieutenant-Colonel  Seton  had 
gone  to  Holland  on  leave. 

Before  returning  to  Denmark,  Sir  Donald  Mackay  went  to 
London  for  a  short  time,  and  on  the  19th  February.  1628,  the 
King  advanced  him  to  the  dignity  of  the  peerage,  under  the  title 
of  LORD  EBAY,  by  patent  to  him  and  his  heirs  male  for  ever,  bear- 
ing the  name  and  arms  of  Mackay. 

During  his  absence,  the  Regiment  had  hot  work  on  several 
occasions.  He  left  for  Scotland  in  October,  and  in  November 
Major  Munro  was  ordered  to  proceed  with  four  companies  to  the 
Island  of  Laaland,  to  keep  the  Imperialists  in  check,  as  they  had 
crossed  the  Belt  and  laid  the  Island  of  Femern  under  contribution. 
Some  months  later  (22nd  March,  1628),  the  King  also  landed  in 
Laaland  with  2500  foot,  being  resolved  to  drive  the  enemy  from 
Femern,  as  he  was  afraid,  if  they  were  left  undisturbed  there,  they 
might  get  possession  of  some  of  the  other  Islands.  On  the  6th  of 
April  the  expedition  sailed,  and  on  the  8th  landed  at  Femern. 
After  a  short  resistance,  the  Imperialist  garrison  surrendered  uncon- 
ditionally, and  leaving  their  arms,  baggage,  and  ammunition,  were 
sent  away  in  boats  to  Holstein.  After  resting  three  days,  during 
which  time  the  King  appointed  a  Governor,  and  told  off  a  garrison 
for  the  protection  of  the  Island,  a  second  expedition  was  agreed 
upon.  On  the  llth  of  April,  the  ships  again  set  sail,  and  kept 
along  the  coast  of  Holstein  till  they  came  to  Eckernfiord,  where 
there  was  a  garrison  of  the  Imperialists.  Here  the  troops  landed, 
the  King  remaining  on  board  ship  to  watch  proceedings.  The 
force  consisted  of  close  upon  2000  men,  English,  Scots,  Dutch, 
and  French,  in  about  equal  numbers.  It  was  agreed  to  cast  lots 
as  to  which  should  lead  the  attack,  and  the  lot  fell  on  the  High- 
landers, the  English  corning  next.  The  town  was  taken  and 
plundered,  but  there  was  some  hard  righting  and  considerable 
loss.  Before  the  attack  began,  Mr.  William  Forbes,  the  preacher 
to  the  Regiment,  wished  the  Highlanders  success  "  in  the  name  of 
the  Lord."  Part  of  the  defenders  retired  to  the  church,  which 


Mackay's  Regiment  151 

they  barricaded,  and  shooting  out  of  it  did  great  damage  to  the 
attacking  party.  On  the  church  being  forced,  it  was  discovered 
that  the  defenders  had  retired  for  safety  to  a  detached  gallery  ;  but, 
before  doing  so,  they  had  laid  a  train  of  gunpowder  over  the  floor,  for 
the  destruction  of  the  building,  when  the  invaders  entered  it. 
Major  Munro,  on  noticing  this,  had  barely  time  to  warn  his  men 
of  their  danger,  when  an  explosion  took  place,  by  which  about  one 
hundred  were  killed.  The  Highland  soldiers  not  having  forgotten 
the  enemy's  cruelty  to  their  comrades  at  Bredenburg,  then  resolved 
to  give  no  quarter,  and  about  two  hundred  and  fifjty  of  the  enemy 
were  destroyed.  Several  of  Mackay's  officers  were  wounded,  among 
others,  Captain  Mackenzie,  who  "  was  favourably  shot  in  the  legge," 
and  Lieutenant  David  Munro,  who  was  "  pitifully  burnt." 

The  chaplain,  "  Master  William  Forbesse,"  is  described  by 
Munro  as  "  a  Preacher  for  Souldiers,  yea  and  a  Captaine  in  neede, 
to  lead  Souldiers  on  a  good  occasion,  being  full  of  courage  and 
discretion  and  good  conduct,  beyond  some  Captaines  I  have 
knowne,  who  were  not  so  capable  as  he.  At  this  time,  he  not 
onely  prayed  for  us,  but  went  on  with  us,  to  remarke,  as  I  thinke, 
rnens  carriage,  and  having  found  a  Sergeant  neglecting  his  dutie, 
and  his  honour  at  such  a  time,  did  promise  to  reveal  him  unto  me, 
as  he  did  after  their  service  ;  the  Sergeant  being  called  before  me, 
and  accused,  did  deny  his  accusation,  alleaging  that  if  he  were  no 
Pastour  that  had  alleaged  it,  he  would  not  lie  under  the  injury,  the 
Preacher  offered  to  fight  with  him,  that  it  was  truth  he  had  spoken 
of  him,  whereupon  I  cashier'd  the  Sergeant.  .  .  .  The  Sergeant 
being  cashier'd  never  call'd  Master  William  to  account,  for  which 
he  was  evill  thought  of,  so  that  he  retired  home,  and  quit  the 
warres." 

Munro  very  ingenuously  gives  three  excuses  for  pursuing  men 
who  had  "  retired  to  a  Church  being  a  place  of  refuge."  First, 
our  orders  "  were  to  beate  our  enemies,  in  taking  them  prisoners, 
or  by  killing  them,  which  we  could  not  effect,  .  .  .  without 
entering  the  Church."  "  Secondly.  They  having  banished  the 
Gospell,  and  the  Preachers  of  it  out  of  the  Church,  we  had  good 
reason  to  banish  them,  who  had  made  of  the  house  of  God  a  Denne 
of  theeves  and  murtherers,  as  they  were  at  Bredenburg  having 
killed  our  Camerades,  and  massacred  our  Preacher  being  on  his 
knees  begging  mercy,  and  could  find  none.  Thirdly.  They 
treacherously  retired  themselves  to  a  Loft  apart  in  the  Church,  for 
their  own  safeties,  and  left  trains  of  Powder  to  blow  us  up  at  our 
entry,  which  made  our  Compassion  towards  them  the  Colder  ;  " 
and  then  he  adds,  however,  "  I  refused  not  to  shew  compassion 


152  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

on  those  who  did  beg  it  of  me,  and  what  others  did  in  their  fury, 
I  did  tolerate,  not  being  pawerfull  to  hinder  them."  Truly  war 
is  a  cruel  teacher,  when  it  can  justify  such  excesses,  even  as  acts 
of  retribution. 

Having  returned  to  their  ships,  the  King  directed  that  they 
should  next  sail  along  the  coast  till  they  came  to  Kiel.  Here  a 
landing  was  attempted  ;  but  the  preparations  made  by  the  Imperi- 
alist leader,  defeated  the  attempt  to  take  the  town,  and  the  greater 
number  of  the  men  detailed  for  this  purpose  were  killed.  The  attack- 
ing party  was  led  by  an  English  officer,  who  displayed  great  bravery. 
He  got  off,  but  died  of  his  wounds  the  following  day.  Thirty 
Highlanders  were  among  the  number  which  landed  ;  and  of  these 
twenty-two  were  killed  ;  the  remaining  eight  were  wounded,  but 
escaped  by  swimming  to  the  King's  ship,  into  which  they  were 
taken.  Munro  remarks — "  Here  also  our  Scottisfi  High-land-men 
are  prayse  worthy,  who  for  lacke  of  Boats,  made  use  of  their  vertue 
and  courage  in  swimming  the  Seas,  notwithstanding  of  their  wounds, 
with  their  cloathe?,  shewing  their  Masters  they  were  not  the  first 
came  off,  but  with  the  last ;  following  the  example  of  their  leader, 
they  would  not  stay  to  be  Prisoners,  as  many  doe  at  such  times,  and 
never  returne."  After  this  disappointment  and  repulse,  the  ships 
returned  to  Femern.  An  attempt  was  made  shortly  alterwards  to 
establish  a  footing  in  Holstein,  but  also  failed ;  and  orders  were 
then  given  to  sail  back  to  Laaland. 

But  another  great  struggle  was  at  hand.  Tidings  were  brought 
to  King  Christian  that  Stralsund,  one  of  the  free  cities  of  the 
Hanseatic  League  had  been  besieged  by  the  Imperialists,  under 
Marshal  Arnheim.  It  had  remained  neutral  during  the  war, 
pursuing  those  habits  of  peaceful  industry  which  had  secured  it 
so  many  privileges  from  the  Dukes  of  Pomerania  ;  but  its  noble 
harbour,  and  its  vicinity  to  the  coasts  of  Sweden  and  Denmark, 
made  its  possession  of  great  importance  to  the  conqueror.  Walleu- 
stein,  then  the  generalissimo  of  the  Emperor,  had  declared  he 
would  sweep  the  shores,  and  also  the  waters  of  the  Baltic ;  and  in 
pursuance  of  this  plan  resolved  to  seize  Stralsund.  He  sent  an 
officer  requesting  the  burghers  to  receive  an  Imperial  garrison, 
which  they  declined  ;  he  then  asked  for  permission  to  march  his 
army  through  the  city,  but  the  burgomaster  was  too  wary,  and  this 
also  was  refused  ;  then  the  gates  were  closed,  and  cannon  loaded  — 
the  city  stood  upon  its  defence,  and  Marshal  Arnheim  was  com- 
manded to  begin  the  siege  at  once.  The  burghers  of  Stralsund 
thereupon  sent  a  message  to  the  King  of  Denmark,  humbly  begying 
for  his  assistance.  This,  he  at  once  promised,  for  he  knew  if 


Mackay's  Regiment  153 

Stralsund  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  Imperialists,  the  free  naviga- 
tion of  the  Baltic  would  be  lost,  and  the  Danish  islands,  as  it 
were,  at  the  mercy  of  the  conqueror.  He  selected  Lord  Reay's 
Regiment  for  the  hazardous  duty,  "  having  had  sufficient  proof  of 
its  former  service  ...  so  that  hefore  others  they  were  trusted 
on  this  occasion."  Orders  were  given  that  they  should  at  once  pro- 
ceed to  Stralsund.  Lieutenant-Colonel  Seton  having  returned 
from  Holland,  was  instructed  to  take  shipping  direct  from  Funen, 
with  the  three  companies  which  had  been  left  in  that  island ; 
while  the  four  companies  which  were  stationed  in  Laaland  were  to 
march  to  Elsinore  and  embark  there.  Lieutenant-Colonel  Seton 
with  the  three  companies  must  have  entered  Stralsund  on  the  24th 
or  25th  of  May  ;  for  Munro,  who  arrived  with  the  other  four 
companies  on  the  28th,  says,  we  were  "  no  sooner  drawne  up  in  the 
Market  place,  but  presently  we  were  sent  to  watch  at  Franckendore, 
to  relieve  the  other  Division,  that  had  watched  three  days  and  three 
nights  together  uncome  off,  that  being  the  weakest  part  of  the 
whole  Towne,  and  the  onely  poste  pursued  by  the  enemy,  which  our 
Lievetenant-Colonell  made  choice  of,  being  the  most  dangerous,  for 
his  Countries  credit." 

For  the  space  of  six  weeks  their  duty  in  defending  the  town 
was  hard  and  unremitting.  During  this  time,  "  neither  officer  nor 
Souldier  was  suffered  to  come  off  his  watch,  neither  to  diue  or 
suppe,  but  their  ineate  was  carried  unto  them,  to  their  poste." 
And  Munro  says,  that  in  these  six  weeks  his  "  clothes  came  never 
off,  except  it  had  been  to  change  a  suite  or  linniiigs" — [linens]. 
The  town's  people  too,  were  very  surly  and  inhospitable,  or  as 
Munro  expresses  it,  "  ungratefull  and  unthankful! ; "  and  this 
added  considerably  to  the  discomfort  of  the  soldiers. 

Day  after  day,  and  night  after  night,  the  Highlanders  were 
kept  at  their  posts  without  any  respite.  They  had  to  keep  double 
watch,  and  their  position  was  being  constantly  assailed  by  the 
enemy.  The  Franken-gate,  which  was  their  especial  charge,  was  at 
the  weakest  part  of  the  city  wall,  and  the  enemy,  as  a  matter  of 
course,  directed  most  of  their  efforts  to  carry  that  point.  Attempts 
were  made  by  the  Highlanders  to  strengthen  their  position ;  but 
they  had  to  work,  so  to  speak,  with  spade  in  one  hand,  and  pike  or 
musket  in  the  other,  for  the  Imperialists  were  constantly  on  the 
alert  to  attack  them  at  any  moment.  Many  of  the  defenders  were 
killed,  and  many  more  wounded.  "  When  cannons  are  ro  iring  and 
bullets  flying,  he  that  would  have  honour  must  not  feare  dying  : 
many  rose  in  the  morning,  went  not  to  bed  at  night,  and  many 
supped  at  night,  sought  no  breakfast  ia  the  morning."  So 


154  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

writes  Munro,  and  then  he  adds,  "  some  had  their  heads  separated 
from  their  bodies  by  the  Cannon,  as  happened  to  one  Lievetenant 
and  thirteene  Souldiers,  that  had  their  fourteene  heads  shot  from 
them  by  one  Cannon  bullet  at  once.  Who  doubts  of  this,  he  may 
go  and  see  the  reliques  of  their  braines  to  this  day  [1636,  about 
eight  years  after  the  siege],  sticking  on  the  walles,  under  the 
Port  of  Franckendore  in  Trailesound" 

"Wallenstein  was  so  annoyed  that  the  siege  should  last  so  long, 
that  on  the  26th  of  June  he  arrived  in  the  camp  for  the  purpose 
of  conducting  the  operations  himself.  He  examined  the  walls, 
and  swore  he  would  "  take  the  place  in  three  nights,  though  it  were 
hanging  with  Iron  chaines,  betwixt  the  earth  and  the  heavens." 
"  But,"  as  the  historian  writes,  "  forgetting  to  take  God  on  his  side, 
he  was  disappointed  by  him  who  disposeth  of  all  things." 

Between  ten  and  eleven  o'clock  that  night  the  assault  was  made, 
and  the  post  guarded  by  Mackay's  Eegiment,  being,  as  I  have 
already  mentioned,  the  weakest,  the  enemy's  efforts  were  directed 
chiefly  against  it.  But  it  was  known  that  Wallenstein  was  in 
camp,  and  the  Highlanders  were  prepared  for  a  more  than  ordinary 
attack  on  their  position.  The  sentries  were  doubled,  and  posts 
strengthened  ;  and  when  the  enemy  advanced,  "  above  a  thousand 
strong,  with  a  shoute,  sa  sa,  sa  sa,  sa  sa  /"  the  sentry  gave  fire, 
the  defenders  were  at  once  called  to  arms,  and  after  a  severe  struggle 
of  an  hour  and  a  half,  the  assailants  were  repulsed.  But  they  had 
reliefs  at  hand,  and  were  at  once  succeeded  by  a  storming  party  of 
equal  number,  and  these  again  by  others,  and  so  on  until  morning, 
when  day  breaking,  a  last  and  desperate  effort  was  made  to  force  the 
gate.  They  got  within  the  outworks,  but  were  beaten  ' '  backe  againe 
with  greate  losse,  with  swords  and  pikes  and  butts  of  muskets,  so 
that "  they  were  "  forced  to  retire,  having  lost  above  a  thousand 
men,"  while  the  Highlanders  lost  "  neare  two  hundred,  besides 
those  who  were  hurt."  The  moat  was  filled  with  the  dead  bodies  of 
the  enemy  up  to  the  banks.  The  works  were  ruined  and  could 
not  be  repaired,  "which  caused  the  next  night's  watch  to  be  the 
more  dangerous." 

The  defence  was  conducted  by  Major  Munro,  who  was  severely 
wounded  ;  and  he  tells  us  that,  "  during  the  time  of  this  hot  con- 
flict, none  that  was  whole  went  off  at  the  coming  of  the  reliefe,  but 
continued  in  the  fight  assisting  their  Camerades,  so  long  as  their 
strength  served."  He  remained  till  "  wearied  and  growne  stiff  with" 
his  wounds,  he  was  assisted  off.  The  number  of  Highland  officers 
killed  and  wounded  was  very  heavy. 

The  Regiment  was  badly  treated.     They  asked  for  assistance, 


Mackay's  Regiment.  155 

but  although,  nearly  all  the  force  of  the  enemy  was  directed  against 
their  position,  no  support  was  sent  them.  But  just  before  the  last 
assault  was  made,  Colonel  Fritz,  who  had  recently  arrived  in  Stral- 
sund  from  Sweden,  went  to  the  help  of  the  Highlanders  "  with 
foure  score  musketiers."  Colonel  Fritz  was  killed,  and  also  his 
Major,  who  was  named  Semple ;  and  his  Lieutenant-Colonel, 
MacDougall,  was  taken  prisoner,  and  was  missing  for  six  months. 

It  is  reported  of  WaUenstein,  that  he  was  so  eager  to  get  into 
the  town,  that,  when  his  wounded  officers  retired,  he  ordered  them 
to  be  shot,  branding  them  as  cowards  for  leaving  their  places  so 
long  as  they  could  stand. 

Munro  very  drily  remarks  on  the  shouts,  "  Sa  sa,  sa  sa,  sa  sa  ! " 
made  by  the  Imperialists,  when  entering  on  an  engagement — 
"  Shouting  like  Turkes,  as  if  crying  would  terrific  resolute  Souldiers  : 
No  truely  .  .  .  seeing  we  were  more  overjoyed  by  their  coming 
than  any  wise  terrified  ;  and  we  received  them  with  Yolees  of 
Cannon  and  Musket  in  their  teeth,  which  faire  and  wellcome  was 
hard  of  digestion  unto  some  of  them.  .  .  .  True  courage  con- 
sists not  in  words  .  .  .  but  in  the  strength  of  the  Valiant 
Arme,  and  not  in  the  Tongue.  ...  It  may  well  be  said  of 
them  as  the  Proverbe  is  that  the  dogges  did  barke  more  than  they 
did  bite." 

The  following  day  Lieut. -Colonel  Seton  visited  the  wounded 
Major  at  his  lodgings,  and  gave  him  particulars  of  the  loss  the 
Regiment  had  sustained.  So  few  men  were  left  that  were  really 
fit  for  service,  that  Munro  advised  that  they  should  all  be  put  into 
the  Colonel's  company,  so  as  to  form  one  strong  company,  in  the 
meantime,  and  when  the  recruits  came  from  Scotland,  the  com- 
panies should  then  be  formed  anew.*  When  night  came,  the 

*  The  second  sight  had  not  quite  died  out  in  those  days,  for  Munro  adds,  in 
connection  with  the  visit  made  to  him  by  Lieut. -Colonel  Seton  : — "To  make  my 
Lievetenant-Colonell  laugh,  I  did  tell  him  a  story  of  a  vision,  that  was  scene  by  a 
Souldier  of  the  Colonell's  company,  that  morning  before  the  enemy  did  storme, 
being  a  predictive  dreame,  and  a  true.  One  Murdo  Mac-claude  borne  in  Assen, 
a  Souldier  of  a  tall  stature,  and  valiant  courage,  being  sleeping  on  his  watch, 
awakened  by  the  breake  of  day,  and  jogges  two  of  his  Camerades  lying  by  him, 
who  did  finde  much  fault  with  him  for  sturring  of  them,  he  replied,  before  long 
you  shall  be  otherwise  starred,  a  Souldier  called  Allen  Tough  a  Loghaber-man, 
recommending  his  soule  to -God,  asked  him  what  he  had  seene,  who  answered  him, 
you  shall  never  see  your  country  againe,  the  other  replied,  the  losse  was  but  small 
if  the  rest  of  the  company  were  well,  he  answered  no,  for  there  was  great  hurt 
and  death  of  many  very  neere,  the  other  asked  againe,  whom  had  he  seene  more 
that  would  dye  besides  him,  sundry  of  his  Camerades  he  tould  by  name,  that 
should  be  killed  :  the  other  asked  what  would  become  of  himselfe,  he  answered,  he 
would  be  killed  with  the  rest :  in  effect,  he  describeth  the  whole  Officers  by  their 
cloathea  that  should  be  hurt :  a  pretty  quicke  boy  neere  by  asked  him,  what 


156  Gaelic  Society  of  In  verness. 

enemy  made  another  furious  assault,  and  the  Highlanders  had  for  a 
time  to  abandon  their  (outworks  and  retire  to  the  ravelin  ;  but  as 
soon  as  the  morning  light  shone,  led  by  their  officers,  and  armed 
— some  "  with  corslets,  head-pieces,  with  halt-pikes,  morgan  sternes, 
and  swords,"  they  rushed  out  "  Pell  mell  amongst  the  enemies, 
and  chased  them  quite  out  of  the  workes  againe,  and  retiring  with 
credit,  maintained  still  the  Triangle  or  Eaveline."  The  loss  of  life 
was  again  great  on  both  sides. 

Wallenstein  finding  he  could  not  take  the  city  so  easily  as  he 
imagined,  sent  a  trumpeter  to  know  if  the  defenders  would  treat 
with  him  upon  terms.  Lieut-Colonel  Seton  (in  the  absence  of 
Colonel  Holke,  the  governor  of  the  city),  was  glad  of  the  offer,  and 
an  armistice  of  fourteen  days  was  agreed  upon  to  draw  up  the  terms 
of  a  treaty,  and  to  give  time  to  ascertain  the  King  of  Denmark's 
views  on  the  subject.  The  treaty  was  just  ready  for  signature  when 
orders  came  to  Lieut.-Colonel  Seton  not  to  sign  it,  as  troops  were  in 
readiness  to  come  with  all  haste  for  his  relief.  "  Whereupon  my 
Lord  ^pynie,  a  Scots  Noble  man,  with  his  Regiment,  with  sufficient 
provision  of  money  and  Ammunition,  were  sent  unto  the  Towne, 
and  being  entered  the  treaty  was  rejected,  and  made  voide." 

Shortly  after  this  an  arrangement  was  entered  into  by  the  Kings 
of  Denmark  and  Sweden,  by  which  the  defence  of  Stralsund  was 
undertaken  by  the  latter.  Sir  Alexander  Leslie,  "  an  expert  and 
valorous  Scots  commander,"  was  appointed  governor,t  with  some 
Swedish  troops  ;  and  the  forces  employed  by  the  King  of  Denmark 
were  ordered  to  be  withdrawn  from,  the  garrison,  and  Swedish 
troops  employed  in  their  place. 

Leslie  had  no  sooner  taken  the  command  than  he  resolved  to 
attack  the  besiegers,  and  drive  them  from  their  works.  Desirous 
of  conferring  "  credit  on  his  owne  Nation  alone,"  he  "  made  choice 
of  Spunia's  Kegirnent,  being  their  first  service  to  make  the  outfall," 

would  become  of  the  Major,  meaning  me,  he  answered,  he  wou'd  he  shot,  but 
not  deadly,  and  tlut  the  boy  should  be  next  unto  me,  when  I  were  hurt,  as  he 
was. " 

t  Munro  enlarges  in  glowing  terms  on  the  special  blessings  bestowed  on  the 
Stralsunders  in  having  obtained  a  Scotsman  for  their  ruler:  "And  what  a 
blessing  it  was  to  a  Towne  perplexed,  as  this  was,  to  get  a  good,  wise,  vertuous 
and  valiant  Governour  in  time  of  their  greatest  trouble,  wh  ch  .-hewes  that  we 
are  govarn'd  by  a  power  above  us."  And  then  waxing  more  eloquent  on  the 
good  fortune  of  the  city,  and  the  merits  of  his  countrymen,  he  adds,  "  It  faring 
then  with  Trai/esound,  as  with  Sara  ;  she  became  fruitfull  when  she  could  not 
believe  it,  and  they  become  flourishing  having  gotten  a  Scots  Governour  to  protect 
them,  whom  they  looked  not  for,  which  was  a  good  omen  unto  them,  to  get  a 
Governour  of  the  Nation,  that  was  never  conquered,  which  made  them  the  onely 
Towne  in  Germany  free,  as  yet,  from  the  Emperiall  yoke,  by  the  valour  of  our 
Nation,  that  defended  their  City  in  their  greatest  danger." 


Mackay's  Regiment  157 

and  "  the  remainder  of  Mackay's  Regiment  to  second  them  for  mak- 
ing good  of  their  retreate."  They  fell  upon  the  enemy's  works, 
forced  them  to  retire,  and  drove  them  back  to  the  main  body  of 
their  army.  But  overpowered  by  numbers,  they,  in  their  turn, 
were  obliged  "  to  retire  with  the  losse  of  some  brave  Cavaliers." 
To  make  their  retreat  good,  Captain  Mackenzie  advanced  "  with  the 
old  Scottish  blades"  of  Mackay's  Regiment.  He  succeeded  in  driv- 
ing off  the  enemy,  and  then  covering  Spynie's  men,  till  they  had 
arrived  within  their  own  works,  he,  still  lacing  the  foe,  gradually 
retired  to  his  own  position.  But  the  loss  of  the  Highlanders  was 
again  considerable,  for  they  had  thirty  men  killed. 

Immediately  after  resigning  the  protection  of  Stralsund  to 
Sweden,  the  King  of  Denmark  made  an  attempt  to  secure  for  him- 
self the  province  of  Pomerania,  then  held  by  the  Imperialists.  For 
this  purpose  he  left  Denmark  with  a  force  of  cavalry  and  infantry, 
with  which  he  landed  at  Wolgast.  He  then  recalled  Mackay's  and 
Spynie's  Regiments  from  Stralsund  ;  and  the  remains  of  these  two 
Scottish  corps  reached  Wolgast  about  the  end  of  July.  The  King 
immediately  prepared  to  attack  the  Imperialists,  but  he  was  no 
match  for  them.  They  destroyed  the  greater  part  of  his  army  with- 
out even  coming  to  any  regular  engagement ;  and  then  pressing  him 
hard,  forced  him  to  retire,  in  great  haste  and  confusion,  until  he  was 
again  within  the  town  of  Wolgast.  Here  finding  he  was  in  danger 
of  being  taken  prisoner,  he  put  all  the  Scottish  troops  under  com- 
mand of  Captain  Mackenzie  of  Mackay's  Regiment,  who  was  ordered 
to  skirmish  with  the  enemy  till  the  King  had  passed  the  bridge  ; 
and  then,  with  his  Highlanders,  he  was  to  retire,  and  set  the  bridge 
on  fire,  "which  the  Captaine  did  orderly  obey,"  says  Munro, 
"  doing  his  Majestic  the  best  service  was  done  him  in  the  whole 
time  of  the  warres,  not  without  great  danger  of  the  Captaine,  and 
his  followers,  where  the  Bridge  once  burning,  he  was  then  the 
happiest  man  that  could  first  be  shipped." 

The  King  immediately  embarked  for  Denmark  with  the  re- 
mainder of  his  forces.  They  arrived  at  Copenhagen  on  the  9th 
of  August,  and  were  met  by  Lord  Reay,  who  had  just  returned 
from  Scotland,  with  about  a  thousand  recruits  for  his  Regiment. 

I  may  here  mention  that  the  Highlanders  had  no  further  share 
in  the  defence  of  Stralsuud.  An  idea  of  the  hard  work  they  had, 
may,  however,  be  inferred  from  the  fact  that  upwards  of  five 
hundred  of  them  were  killed  during  the  short  time  they  were 
engaged  in  defending  that  city.  The  siege  lasted  four  months  in 
all,  and  cost  the  Imperialists  upwards  of  twelve  thousand  of  their 
best  soldiers.  But  notwithstanding  this  immense  sacrifice,  they 


158  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness, 

were  compelled  to  retire,  after  spiking  their  cannon,  destroying 
their  baggage,  and  setting  fire  to  their  camp,  so  as  to  prevent  any 
booty  falling  into  the  hands  of  the  gallant  defenders. 

At  Copenhagen,  Lord  Eeay  immediately  set  to  work  to  re- 
organize his  Eegiment.  So  few,  however,  of  the  band  survived 
which  had  sailed  from  Cromarty  on  the  10th  of  October,  1626, 
that  the  task  was  like  forming  a  new  regiment  altogether.  Munro 
says,  that  when  the  survivors  left  Stralsund  of  "  both  officers  and 
souldiers  I  doe  not  think  one  hundred  were  free  of  wounds,  re- 
ceived honourably  in  defence  of  the  good  cause."  The  record  is 
almost  without  a  parallel  in  history. 

Two  companies  sent  over  by  Colonel  Sinclair  (of  which  one  was 
a  Welsh  Company,  commanded  by  Captain  Trafford),  were  joined 
to  the  Eegiment ;  and  Lieutenant-Colonel  Seton  having  retired, 
Major  Munro  was  appointed  Lieutenant-Colonel  in  his  place.  When 
completed  and  mustered,  the  new  Eegiment  numbered  fourteen 
hundred  men,  besides  officers. 

Shortly  after  his  return  to  Denmark,  the  King  decided  on 
raising  another  army,  either  "  to  beate  the  enemy  out  of  Hoist  en, 
or  otherwise  with  his  sword  in  his  hand,  make  an  honourable  peace." 
Having  made  all  the  preliminary  arrangements  for  the  campaign, 
which,  it  was  intended,  should  open  in  the  following  spring,  the 
King  ordered  the  army  into  winter  quarters. 

In  April  the  troops  were  brought  together,  and  plans  prepared 
for  a  descent  on  Holstein.  The  different  companies  of  Lord  Eeay's 
Eegiment,  which  had  been  quartered  in  various  places  during 
winter,  assembled  at  Enge,  where,  it  was  proposed,  hostilities  should 
begin.  There  was  every  indication  that  a  fierce  and  terrible  struggle 
was  at  hand  ;  but  before  again  drawing  the  sword,  the  King  de- 
cided on  trying  to  arrange  a  treaty  of  peace  with  the  Emperor  of 
Austria.  In  this  he  succeeded.  The  preliminaries  were  agreed 
upon  in  May,  and  in  August  the  treaty  was  signed.  Holstein  and 
Jutland  were  restored  to  the  King,  and  the  conditions  imposed  upon 
him  were  that  he  should  not  interfere  in  the  affairs  of  Germany 
further  than  he  was  entitled  to  do  as  Count  of  Holstein ;  that  on 
no  pretext  was  he  to  enter  the  circles  of  Lower  Germany  ;  that  he 
was  to  leave  the  Elector  Palatine  to  his  fate ;  and  that  the  Scottish 
troops  in  his  service  were  to  quit  it  forthwith. 

"  Thus  by  a  strange  combination  of  misfortunes,  was  the  most 
gallant  of  the  Danish  monarchs  compelled  to  retire  ingloriously 
from  the  great  arena  of  the  German  war." 

The  service  of  Mackay's  Eegiment  was  now  ended  in  Denmark. 
The  King  settled  liberally  and  honourably  with  Lieuteannt-Colonel 


Mackay's  Regiment  159 

Munro  (in  the  absence  of  Lord  Eeay,  who  had  again  returned  to 
Britain) ;  and  then  graciously  dismissed  the  Regiment,  "in  whom 
the  least  omission  could  never  be  found,  much  lesse  to  have  com- 
mitted any  grosse  errour  worthe  imputation."  Orders  were  given 
to  provide  shipping  to  convey  officers  and  men  to  Scotland,  and 
"  till  the  shipps  were  ready  to  saile,"  they  were  to  be  furnished 
with  free  quarters  at  Elsinore. 

But  the  Regiment  did  not  return  to  Scotland.  The  war  between 
Denmark  and  Austria  certainly  was  ended,  but  the  great  struggle 
had  little  more  than  begun. 

THE   SERVICE   OF   THE   REGIMENT   UNDER    GUSTAVUS   ADOLPHUS, 
KING   OF   SWEDEN. 

In  the  summer  of  1629  a  large  army  was  sent  by  the  Emperor 
of  Austria  to  the  assistance  of  the  Poles,  who  were  then  fighting 
against  Sweden.  This,  of  course,  led  to  war  between  the  Swedes 
and  Austrians,  and  brought  Gustavus  Adolphus  into  the  field. 
The  King  of  Sweden  appeared  upon  the  scene  as  the  champion  of 
Protestantism,  while  the  Emperor  fought  for  the  supremacy  of  the 
Church  of  Rome.  The  struggle  was  a  long  one  ;  and  though, 
after  a  time,  selfish  and  political  interests  took  the  place  of  the 
religious  elements  with  which  the  war  began,  it  yet  ended  ultimately 
in  the  establishment  of  civil  and  religious  liberty  in  Germany. 

Acting  under  instructions  from  Lord  Reay,  Lieutenant-Colonel 
Munro,  instead  of  returning  with  the  Regiment  to  Scotland, 
tendered  its  services  to  the  King  of  Sweden.  Gustavus,  who  had 
formed  a  high  opinion  of  the  Scottish  soldiery  (he  had  many  of 
them  in  his  service),  was  glad  to  secure  the  assistance  of  a  regiment 
which  had  already  made  itself  so  famous,  and  very  speedily  agreed 
to  such  conditions  as  were  satisfactory  to  all  concerned  ;  and  under 
him  the  Regiment  gained  even  greater  honours,  if  that  were  possible, 
than  it  had  achieved,  when  originally  embodied,  and  serving  the 
King  of  Denmark. 

When  the  arrangements  were  completed,  six  companies  of  the 
Highlanders  were,  on  the  orders  of  Gustavus,  despatched,  "  as  a  be- 
ginning," by  Munro  from  Elsinore  to  Braunsburg  in  Prussia.  There 
they  had  a  very  easy  time  of  it,  for  they  were  stationed  in  that  district 
for  more  than  a  year  without  being  engaged  in  any  active  service. 
The  remainder  of  the  Regiment  must  have  been  removed  to  Holland, 
to  wait  reinforcements  and  instructions  from  Lord  Reay,  for  Munro 
says,  "  other  sixe  Companies  of  the  old  Regiment,  the  Colonell 
directed  from  Holland  to  Sweden,  in  November  1629,  where  they 


160  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

remained  in  Garrison  till  May  1630."  This  would  make  the  total 
strength  of  the  regiment  twelve  companies,  or  about  2000  men, 
when  it  entered  the  service  of  Gustavus  Adolphus. 

Munro  remained  in  Denmark  to  meet  Lord  Reay ;  and  they 
both  passed  the  winter  in  that  country.  In  February,  1630,  his 
Lordship  proceeded  to  Sweden  to  wait  on  the  King,  and  was 
accompanied  by  Munro.*  His  Majesty  received  them  graciously, 
and  they  found  him  so  well  pleased  with  the  condition  and  disci- 
pline of  the  Highlanders,  that  he  "  did  wish  in  open  presence  of 
the  Army  that  all  his  Foot  were  as  well  disciplined.  .  .  .  And 
having  caused  the  Eegiment  march  by  towards  their  Quarters  his 
Majesty  did  mightily  and  much  praise  the  Regiment  for  their  good 
order." 

Lord  Reay  remained  in  Sweden  with  the  division  of  his 
Regiment  which  was  there  ;  but  Munro  was  directed  to  proceed  to 
Prussia,  to  take  command  of  the  six  companies  which  had  been 
sent  to  Braunsburg. 

In  the  month  of  May  the  King  took  shipping  with  his  army 
for  Germany,  and  Lord  Reay,  with  the  division  of  his  Regiment, 
accompanied  him.  The  first  service  they  had  was  the  taking  of 
Stettin.  This  city  was  then  governed  by  the  Duke  of  Pomerania, 
and  on  reaching  it  a  trumpeter  was  sent  to  demand  entrance.  The 
Duke  replied  that  he  wished  to  remain  neutral ;  but  as  this  answer 
was  not  considered  satisfactory  by  Gustavus,  the  Duke  came  out 
to  have  a  personal  interview  with  the  King.  After  some  conversa- 
tion, he  returned  to  the  city,  "  and  the  drawbridge  being  let  down 
for  him,  Lord  Reay,  at  the  head  of  his  men,  sprang  upon  it  along 
with  him,  and  rushing  in  at  the  gate,  they  were  followed  by  the 
King  and  his  army."  There  was  no  active  resistance,  and  the  city 
was  taken  without  any  bloodshed. t  But  Tilly  was  in  the  imme- 
diate neighbourhood,  in  command  of  the  Imperialist  army,  and  like 
a  vulture  scenting  its  prey,  was  on  the  watch. 

Gustavus,  on  getting  into  Stettin,  immediately  appointed  a 
solemn  thanksgiving,  to  be  held  by  the  army,  for  their  easy  victory. 
Tilly,  ever  on  the  alert,  took  advantage  of  this,  and  fell  upon  the 

*  Lord  Reay  and  Munro  "were  nobly  and  courteously  entertained  "  on  their 
journey  through  Sweden.  They  visited  many  of  their  countrymen,  who  had 
settled  in  the  land,  and  among  others  "  that  worthy  Cavaliere,  Colonell  Alexander 
Hamilton  at  his  Worke-houses  at  Urbowe,  being  then  imployed  in  making  of 
Cannon  and  fire-workes  for  his  Majesty."  This  was  Sir  Alexander  Hamilton  of 
Redhouse,  a  celebrated  artillerist,  whose  cannon  were  long  famous  in  Germany  ; 
and  guns  made  on  his  principle,  and  known  as  Canon  a  la  Suedois,  were  used  in 
the  French  Army  till  1780.  He  returned  to  Scotland,  became  famous  in  the  wars 
of  the  Covenant,  and  was  killed  by  an  explosion  at  the  castle  of  Dunglass. 

t  History  of  the  House  and  Clan  of  Mackay. 


Mackay's  Regiment  161 

outposts  ;  but  an  alarm  being  given,  he  was  soon  repulsed.  Then 
thinking,  perhaps,  that  the  death  of  Gustavus  would  bring  the  war 
to  an  end,  he  bribed  two  German  soldiers  to  assassinate  the  King. 
But  the  treason  was  discovered  :  One  of  the  men  was  apprehended 
and  executed,  the  other,  however,  escaped. 

The  division  of  Highlanders  remained  for  several  months  at 
Stettin,  and  were  afterwards  joined  there  by  the  six  companies 
which  had  been  sent  to  Braunsburg,  whose  adventures  I  shall  now 
relate.  On  the  12th  August,  1630,  they  were  ordered  to  proceed 
to  Pillau,  and  from  thence  to  take  shipping  to  Wolgast.  Three 
vessels  were  employed  for  their  conveyance  ;  but  a  few  days  after 
sailing,  one  of  the  ships,  that  in  which  Lieutenant-Colonel  Munro, 
with  three  of  the  companies,  had  embarked,  was  driven  ashore  in 
a  storm,  and  became  a  total  wreck,  those  on  board  barely  escaping 
with  their  lives.*  From  some  peasants  it  was  ascertained  they  had 
been  wrecked  on  the  Island  of  Rugen,  and  that  the  Imperialists 
were  in  considerable  force  in  the  neighbourhood.  The  shipwrecked 
men  were  in  miserable  plight,  their  ammunition  had  been  destroyed, 
and  they  had  no  weapons  "  but  swords,  pikes,  and  some  wet  mus- 
kets." With  the  enemy  near  at  hand,  prompt  action  was  necessary. 
The  Castle  of  Eugenwalde,  belonging  to  the  Duke  of  Pomerania, 
was  not  far  off.  The  Duke  was  a  secret  partisan  of  Gustavus,  and 
though  the  Imperialists  had  taken  possession  of  the  town,  they 
strangely  had  left  the  castle  under  the  charge  of  the  Duke's  re- 
tainers. Munro  sent  an  officer,  under  the  direction  of  a  guide,  to 
the  commander  of  the  castle,  to  say  that  if  he  would  furnish  muskets 
and  ammunition,  he  (Munro)  would  clear  the  town  of  the  Imperia- 
lists, and  defend  it  for  the  King.  This  the  commander  at  once 

*  As  there  is  no  further  reference  to  the  other  ships,  it  may  be  presumed  that 
they  reached  their  destination  in  safety,  and  that  the  remaining  three  companies 
of  the  Regiment  arrived  at  Wolgast,  and  afterwards  joined  the  head  quarters  at 
Stettin. 

Among  the  incidents  connected  with  the  shipwreck,  Munro  mentions  "  that 
in  the  very  moment  when  our  ship  did  breake  on  ground,  there  was  a  Sergeants 
"Wife  a  shipboard  who  without  the  helpe  of  any  women  was  delivered  of  a  Boy, 
which  all  the  time  of  the  tempest  she  carefully  did  preserve,  and  being  come 
ashore,  the  next  day  she  marched  neere  foure  English  mile,  with  that  in  her 
Armes,  which  was  in  her  Belly  the  night  before,  and  was  Christened  the  next 
Sunday  after  sermon,  being  the  day  of  our  thanksgiving  for  our  Deliverance,  our 
Preacher  Mr.  Murdow  Mac-Kenyee,  a  worthy  and  Religious  young  man,  having 
discharged  his  part  that  day,  after  with  much  regrate  did  sever  from  us,  and 
followed  my  Lord  of  Rkee  our  Colonell  unto  Britaine. "  Mackenzie,  the  preacher, 
was  afterwards  minister  of  Suddie,  in  Ross-shire. 

Munro  also  mentions  that  two  of  those  on  board  "  that  tooke  a  pride  in  their 
swimming,  thinking  by  swimming  to  gaine  the  shore,  were  both  drowned."  These 
were  the  only  men  lost.  The  one  was  a  Dane  (probably  one  of  the  sailors),  and 
the  other  "  Murdo  Piper." 

11 


162  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

agreed  to,  and  fifty  muskets  with  ammunition  were  supplied.  When 
night  came,  the  Highlanders  were  admitted  hy  a  secret  passage 
into  the  castle,  and  from  thence  passed  easily  into  the  town  below. 
There  they  fell  suddenly  on  the  Imperialists,  who  were  prepared 
for  an  attack  from  without,  but  not  from  within ;  and  not  know- 
ing the  numbers  of  the  force  thus  so  unexpectedly  appearing,  the 
usual  effect  of  a  panic  followed.  In  short,  such  was  the  impetu- 
osity with  which  the  Highland  musketeers  and  pikemen  made  their 
attack,  that  the  whole  band  of  Imperialists  were  either  killed  or 
taken  prisoners.  The  keys  of  the  town  and  castle  were  then  de- 
livered to  Munro,  and  next  day  he  sent  a  messenger  to  Stettin  to 
acquaint  his  Majesty  with  the  manner  of  his  landing,  and  his 
"happy  success"  thereafter.  He  got  orders  from  the  King  to 
maintain  this  valuable  acquisition,  "  to  keepe  good  watch  and  good 
order  over  the  soldiers,  and  not  to  suffer  them  to  wrong  the 
country  people  whom "  he  "  should  presse  to  keepe  for "  his 
"  Friends."  ' 

"  Thus  by  a  daring  midnight  attack,  resolutely  executed,  under 
the  most  disadvantageous  circumstances,  a  few  Scottish  Highlanders 
rewon  the  fertile  Isle  of  Eugen  for  Gustavus."* 

Munro  retained  Rugenwalde  for  nine  weeks,  during  which  the 
cannonading,  firing,  and  skirmishing  were  incessant.  But  the 
Austrians  closed  in  upon  all  sides,  and  his  situation  soon  became 
one  of  the  greatest  peril.  He  was,  however,  relieved  by  an  old 
friend  and  fellow  student,  Sir  John  Hepburn,  who,  by  order  of  the 
King,  pushed  forward  to  his  assistance,  by  forced  marches  from 
Polish  Prussia. 

The  next  service  of  the  Highlanders  was  the  defence  of  the 
castle  and  town  of  Schiefelbein,  described  as  "  a  scurvie  hole  for 
any  honest  cavalier  to  maintain  his  credit  in,"  though  it  had  been 
a  post  of  strength.  The  castle,  however,  was  in  a  dilapidated  con- 
dition, and  the  town  almost  deserted,  nearly  half  the  inhabitants 
having  died  of  a  pestilence.  A  large  force  of  Imperialists  was 
known  to  be  marching  to  the  relief  of  Colberg,  which  was  invested 
by  General  Kniphausen ;  and,  as  the  relieving  party  must  needs 
pass  Schiefelbein,  Munro  was  commanded  to  take  possession  of  the 
castle.  He  had  barely  time  to  throw  up  some  earthworks,  when 
the  enemy  appeared.  The  orders  he  had  received  were  brief  and 
clear  :  "  Maintain  the  town  as  long  as  you  can  ;  but  fight  to  the 
last  man,  and  do  not  give  up  the  castle."  Obedient  to  this,  when 
the  enemy  appeared,  and  sent  a  trumpeter  to  propose  a  treaty  of 

*  Grant's  Memoirs  of  Sir  John  ffepbvm, 


Mackay's  Regiment  163 

surrender,  Munro  replied,  "  I  have  no  such  orders,  but  I  have 
powder  and  ball  at  your  service."  Upon  this  the  attack  began ; 
but  not  being  able  to  maintain  the  town,  the  defenders  retired  to 
the  castle.  The  enemy  having  brought  in  their  artillery  and  am- 
munition to  the  Market  place,  again  sent  to  see  if  Munro  would 
deliver  "  up  the  Castle  upon  good  conditions,  but  if  not,  he  should 
have  no  quarter  afterwards."  An  answer  similar  to  the  first  was 
returned,  and  then  the  attack  began  anew.  The  Imperialist  force 
was  under  the  command  of  Count  Montecuculi,  and  numbered 
about  eight  thousand  men.  The  castle  was  at  once  invested  on  all 
sides,  and  at  nightfall  the  enemy  began  to  "  plant  their  Batteries 
within  fourtie  paces  of  our  walles,  which,"  says  the  gallant  defender, 
"  I  thought  too  neere  ;  but  the  night  drawing  on,  wee  resolved  with 
fireworkes,  to  cause  them  remove  their  quarters,  and  their 
Artillerie."  Munro  soon  showed  what  he  meant  by  fireworks. 
He  resolved  to  burn  out  the  enemy  by  setting  fire  to  the  town  ; 
and  his  proceedings  were  speedy  and  simple.  He  directed  one  of 
his  soldiers  to  fix  a  fire  ball  on  the  house  that  was  nearest  the  castle^ 
and  the  result  was,  as  he  tells  us,  that  "  the  whole  street  did  burns 
right  alongst  betwixt  us  and  the  enemy,  who  was  then  forced  to 
retire,  both  his  Canon  and  Souldiers,  and  not  without  great  losse 
done  unto  him  by  our  Souldiers."  "  Upon  this  the  wary  Montecuculi 
— auguring  from  the  resolution  of  the  governor,  and  the  sturdy 
valour  of  his  bare-kneed  soldiers,  that  no  laurels  would  be  won 

.  .  retired  in  the  night  without  beat  of  drum,  and  under  cover 
of  a  dense  mist.  Thus  did  five  hundred  Highlanders  repel  sixteen 
times  their  number  of  Imperialists."* 

Count  Montecuculi  resumed  his  march  towards  Colberg,  his 
main  object  being,  as  we  have  seen,  to  relieve  that  stronghold. 
But  this  he  was  not  permitted  to  accomplish,  for  Field-Marshal 
Home,  accompanied  by  Lord  Reay,  with  some  Highland  Musketeers, 
had  come  up  from  Stettin  and  joined  General  Kniphausen,  and 
thus  stopped  his  march  in  that  direction.  An  engagement  took 
place  between  the  two  forces  on  the  13th  November,  without,  how- 
ever, leading  to  any  decisive  result,  for  a  thick  fog  again  coming  on, 
the  Imperialists  were  able  to  retire,  though  not  without  some  loss. 
Indeed,  if  it  had  not  been  for  "  the  Scottish  musketeers  of  Hepburn 
and  Lord  Eeay,  who  were  in  the  van  .  .  .  and  stood  like  a 
rampart,  pouring  in  their  volleys  from  right  to  left,"  the  Imperialists 
would  probably  have  been  the  victors.  The  Swedish  infantry,  who 
were  led  by  a  young  and  inexperienced  officer,  fled  almost  without 

*  Memoirs  of  Sir  John  Hepburn. 


164  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

firing  a  shot ;  and  their  cavalry  also  were  seized  by  an  unaccount- 
able panic,  and  likewise  took  flight.  Indeed,  two  of  the  troopers 
galloped  to  Schiefelbein,  and  told  Munro  that  the  Swedish  army 
was  beaten.  Munro,  however,  did  not  believe  this,  and  had  them 
imprisoned  until  he  ascertained  the  truth.  He  shortly  after- 
wards saw  the  enemy  retreating,  about  a  mile  off,  and  gives  the  fol- 
lowing account  of  what  took  place  : — 

"The  morning  being  dark  with  a  thick  mist  the  horsemen 
charging  one  another,  they  came  in  confusion  on  both  sides,  being 
affrighted  alike,  retired  from  each  others  with  the  losse  of  foure  score 
men  on  both  sides.  The  particulars  whereof  I  will  not  set  downe, 
having  not  seene  the  service." 

Although,  taking  part  in  various  engagements,  nothing  of  im- 
portance occurred  in  which  the  Regiment  was  concerned,  for  some- 
time after  this.  Munro,  of  course,  went  to  see  his  Colonel,  Lord 
Reay ;  and  a  few  days  after  the  retreat  of  the  Imperialists,  was 
ordered  to  remove  with  his  Highlanders  from  Schiefelbein,  and 
march  to  Stettin,  to  join  the  headquarters  of  the  Kegiment. 

Lord  Eeay  had  again  to  proceed  to  Great  Britain.*  Gustavus 
Adolphus  wanted  more  men,  and  commissioned  his  Lordship  to 
raise  new  levies,  not  only  for  completing  the  ranks  of  his  own 
Kegiment,  but  also  to  form  two  new  Regiments — one  English,  and 
the  other  Scots.  This  he  accomplished — Sir  John  Conway  being 
appointed  to  the  command  of  the  English,  and  Munro  of  Obisdell 
to  the  Scots.  During  Lord  Keay's  absence  on  this  mission,  the 
command  of  the  Regiment  was  given  to  Lieut. -Colonel  Munro. 

In  January,  1631,  the  army  left  Stettin.  The  King,  with 
about  eight  thousand  horse  and  foot,  marched  to  New  Brandenburg, 
while  the  rest  of  the  army  was  left  at  Landsberg,  under  Field 
Marshal  Home.  Arriving  at  New  Brandenburg,  the  King  arranged 
the  order  of  battle.  After  some  sharp  cannonading  on  both  sides, 

*  A  collection  of  holograph  letters,  •written  by  Gustavus  Adolphns  to  Lord 
Eeay,  was  lent  by  the  Honourable  George  Mackay  of  Skibo,  "  to  an  individual  of 
eminence  in  Edinburgh,  but,  probably  by  mere  accident,  never  returned  subse- 
quently to  that  gentleman's  sudden  decease.  It  is  understood  that  those  letters 
were  of  a  deeply  interesting  kind,  elucidating  the  true  principles  and  character  of 
that  eminent  prince,  as  well  as  those  of  his  Scottish  auxiliary  and  associate  in 
warfare,  whom  Gustavus  honoured  with  his  unreserved  confidence  and  intimate 
personal  friendship.  The  representative  havers  [custodiers]  of  such  interesting 
memorials  can  surely  not  be  any  way  profited  by  prolonging  their  custody  of 
them. ''  (From  a  Newspaper  notice  on  the  death  of  Admiral  the  Hon.  Donald 
Hugh  Mackay,  who  died  on  the  26th  March,  1850. ) 

Efforts  have  been  made  to  discover  the  above-mentioned  letters ;  but  hitherto 
without  success,  as  it  is  not  known  in  whose  hands  they  now  are.  They  would, 
without  doubt,  throw  much  light  on  the  history  of  Mackay's  Regiment ;  and  it  is 
to  be  hoped  they  may  some  day  be  found  and  given  to  the  public. 


Mackay's  Regiment.  165 

the  Highlanders  stormed  a  Triangle  or  Eavelin,  and  forced  the 
enemy  to  retire  within  the  town,  when,  fearing  a  general  storming 
of  the  place,  they  sent  a  drummer  to  desire  a  truce,  so  as  to  arrange 
terms  of  surrender.  Conditions  were  agreed  upon,  and  the  garri- 
son, which,  according  to  Munro,  was  a  bravo  little  band  "  of  five 
hundred  Horse,  and  twelve  hundred  Foot,  being  as  complete  to 
look  on  as  you  could  wish,"  were  allowed  to  "  march  out  with  bagge 
and  baggage  Horse  and  Foot  with  full  Armes  "  and  a  convoy  to 
Havelburg. 

A  small  garrison  was  left  in  New  Brandenburg,  and  the  Swedish 
army  pursued  its  march,  taking  various  towns,  and  inflicting  great 
damage  on  the  Imperialists.  Trepto,  Letts,  and  Demmin  were 
captured,  and  considerable  booty  fell  to  the  share  of  the  troops. 
At  Demmin,  the  King  highly  commended  the  bravery  and  charity 
of  the  Highlanders,  for  a  Swedish  officer  being  left  wounded  within 
range  of  the  enemy's  cannon,  and  his  own  countrymen  through  fear 
refusing  to  bring  him  off,  a  small  party  of  Mackay's  Regiment 
rushed  in  and  brought  him  away,  "  to  their  great  praise,"  as  Munro 
expresses  it. 

In  March,  1631,  Gustavus  Adolphus  formed  what  was  known 
as  the  Scots  Brigade,  giving  the  command  to  one  of  the  bravest 
and  ablest  leaders  of  the  age — Sir  John  Hepburn.  The  Brigade 
consisted  of  four  picked  Scottish  regiments,  viz.  : — Hepburn's  own 
Regiment,  Mackay's  Highlanders,  Stargate's  Regiment,  and  Lums- 
den's  Musketeers.  From  the  colour  of  the  tartan  of  the  High- 
landers, and  the  doublets  of  the  other  regiments,  it  was  also  some- 
times designated  the  Green  Brigade.  At  this  time  Gustavus  had 
upwards  of  thirteen  thousand  Scottish  soldiers  in  his  service. 

A  movement  was  now  made  by  the  King  towards  the  Oder, 
but  before  marching  in  that  direction  he  increased  the  garrison  of 
New  Brandenburg,  by  leaving  in  it  six  companies,  or  nearly  a  thou- 
sand of  the  Highlanders,  under  the  command  of  Lieutenant-Colonel 
Lindsay,  and  an  equal  number  of  Swedes,  under  General  Kniphausen. 
The  King's  object  was  to  have  Tilly's  army  detained  there,  while 
he  prosecuted  the  campaign  in  another  direction. 

New  Brandenburg  was  in  a  wretched  condition  to  stand  a  siege. 
The  walls  were  in  ruins,  and  the  moat  nearly  filled  up  ;  and  there 
were  only  a  couple  of  falconets  or  two-pounders,  as  the  whole  ar- 
tillery of  the  defenders.  On  the  King's  departure,  Tilly  at  once 
brought  up  his  army,  which  consisted  of  twenty-two  thousand  men, 
with  twenty-six  pieces  of  artillery,  and  beset  the  town  on  all  sides. 
On  surrounding  the  town,  Tilly  summoned  the  garrison  to  surrender, 
which,  of  course,  they  refused  to  do,  and  the  siege  immediately  be- 


1 66  Gaelic  Society  of  In  verness. 

gan.  It  lasted  nine  days.  The  resistance  was  desperate.  An  ac- 
cidental blunder  led  the  defenders  to  deem  it  their  duty  to  hold 
out ;  for  although  instructions  to  capitulate  had  been  transmitted 
to  General  Kniphausen,  yet,  in  some  unaccountable  manner,  these 
instructions  miscarried.  Worn  out,  and  seeing  no  chance  of  suc- 
cour, the  defenders  at  last  offered  to  surrender  ;  but  Tilly  now  re- 
fused to  give  them  any  quarter.  Then  followed  the  last  assault ; 
and  after  a  stubborn  and  heroic  resistance,  the  town  was  taken.  A 
merciless  slaughter  was  the  result.  On  that  memorable  and  miser- 
able occasion,  the  fury  and  cruelty  of  the  Austrian  General  was  ex- 
pended chiefly  on  our  brave  countrymen,  for  even  the  greater  part 
of  the  prisoners  taken,  were  barbarously  murdered  ;  and  over  six 
hundred  of  Lord  Eeay's  Highlanders  were  on  that  day  cut  to  pieces. 
Only  two  officers  and  a  few  men  escaped  by  swimming  the  moat. 

In  Colonel  Mitchell's  Life  of  Wallenstein  it  is  stated  : — "  This 
nine  days'  defence  of  an  old  rampart  without  artillery,  proves  how 
much  determined  soldiers  can  effect  behind  stone  walls ;  and  it  is 
exceedingly  valuable  in  an  age  that  has  seen  first-rate  fortresses, 
fully  armed,  surrender  before  any  part  of  the  works  had  been  in- 
jured— often,  indeed,  at  the  very  first  summons." 

A  lamentable  account  of  the  slaughter  was  brought  to  Sir  John 
Hepburn  by  the  two  escaped  officers,  Captain  Innes  and  Lieutenant 
Lumsden.  It  filled  the  whole  camp  with  horror,  and  a  vow  of 
vengeance  was  uttered,  which  was  soon  to  be  fulfilled. 

When  the  dreadful  information  was  received,  Hepburn  was  on 
his  way  to  Frankfort  on  the  Oder,  and  there  the  Scots  Brigade 
resolved  they  would  be  revenged  for  the  slaughter  of  their  country- 
men. The  army  was  led  by  the  King  in  person,  and  consisted  of 
about  ten  thousand  horse  and  foot,  with  a  considerable  force  of 
artillery.  Hepburn's  Brigade  formed  the  van  of  the  army. 

Frankfort,  being  a  rich  and  important  city,  was  well  defended. 
It  was  surrounded  by  strong  ramparts  with  massive  gates,  and  had 
then  within  its  walls  a  garrison  of  ten  thousand  men,  commanded 
by  Counts  Schomberg  and  Montecuculi.  When  the  Swedish  army 
drew  near,  the  whole  line  of  the  "  embattled  wall  .  .  .  was 
bright  with  the  glitter  of"  the  Austrians'  "helmets;  while  pike- 
heads,  the  burnished  barrels  of  muskets,  and  sword  blades,  were 
seen  incessantly  flashing  in  the  sunshine." 

Gustavus  was  not  long  in  settling  the  plan  of  attack,  and  getting 
his  army  into  position.  This  accomplished,  he  detailed  Field 
Marshal  Home  to  occupy  the  pass  between  Frankfort  and  Berlin, 
in  order  to  prevent  Tilly,  who  was  known  to  be  hurrying  on,  from 
attacking  the  Swedish  army  in  the  rear. 


Mackay's  Regiment  167 

"  On  Sunday,  in  the  morning,  being  Palme-Sunday  (3rd  April, 
1631)  his  Majestie  with  his  whole  Annie  in  their  best  apparell 
served  God;  his  Majestie  after  Sermon,  encouraging"  the  "  Souldiers, 
wishing  them  to  take  their  evil  dayes  they  had  then,  in  patience, 
and  that  he  hoped  before  long  to  give  them  better  dayes  ;  "  and 
then  commending  "  all  to  be  in  readiuesse,  with  their  Armes, 
against  the  next  orders,"  it  was  suspected  by  some  that  an  attack 
would  at  once  be  made  upon  the  city.  Thereupon  (very  quietly 
adds  Munro,  as  if  it  were  a  mere  every  day  occurrence)  a  number 
of  the  men  belonging  to  Sinclair's  company,  "  provided  themselves 
of  some  ladders."  That  is,  without  being  commanded  to  do  so, 
they  got  the  materials  ready,  with  which,  in  case  of  need,  they 
might  scale  the  walls,  should  the  city  be  stormed.  This  shows 
that  these  Highlanders  were  imbued  with  the  true  spirit  of  soldier 
ship  and  military  adventure. 

That  afternoon  the  King  issued  orders  for  a  general  assault, 
and  in  the  evening  Frankfort  was  taken.  The  various  points  of 
attack  having  been  decided  upon,  and  the  different  Eegiments  told 
off  for  their  special  services,  the  final  order  was  given.  It  was 
this  :  that  when  the  Swedish  artillery  fired  a  grand  salvo  against 
the  walls,  then,  on  the  first  discharge,  and  under  cover  of  the 
smoke,  Hepburn's  and  Banier's  brigades  "  should  advance  to  the 
storm e."  Before  the  signal  was  given,  it  is  reported  that  the  King 
called  Sir  John  Hepburn  and  another  Scottish  officer,  Sir  James 
Lumsden  of  Invergellie,  and  addressing  them,  said — "  Now,  my 
valiant  Scots,  remember  your  brave  Countrymen  who  were  slain 
at  New  Brandenburg  !  "* 

A  trumpet  sounded.  The  whole  of  the  Swedish  artillery  poured 
a  thundering  discharge  upon  the  enemy's  works ;  and  the  Scots 
Brigade,  with  levelled  pikes,  and  led  by  Hepburn  and  Lumsden, 
rushed  on  to  storm  the  Giiben  gate.  Both  officers  carried  lighted 
petards ;  and  amid  a  cloud  of  fire  and  smoke,  with  bullets  of  every 
size — lead,  iron,  and  brass — discharged  by  the  Imperialists,  from 
walls,  parapets,  and  palisades,  whizzing  around  them,  they  resolutely 
advanced  and  attached  the  small  but  powerful  engines  to  the  gate. 
The  officers  retired  a  few  paces,  the  petards  burst,  and  the  strong 
gate  was  shivered  into  a  thousand  fragments. 

But  the  defenders  were  not  unprepared  for  this.  They  had 
planted  what  Munro  calls  "  a  flake  of  small  shot  that  shot  a  dozen 
of  shot  at  once,"  and  "  two  peeces  of  small  ordinance"  to  guard  the 
entrance.  As  the  Scots  Brigade  advanced,  these  made  tremendous 

*  Memoirs  of  Sir  John  Hepburn. 


168  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

havoc  in  their  dense  ranks,  while  the  Austrian  musketeers,  at  the 
same  time,  poured  volley  after  volley,  which  "  made  cruell  and 
pittifull  execution  on  our"  countrymen. 

While  Hepburn's  own  Regiment  was  advancing  in  this  way,  the 
Highlanders  were  approaching  from  another  direction.  They  had 
crossed  the  moat  amidst  mud  and  water  which  came  up  to  their 
gorgets  (that  is  higher  than  the  middle),  and  boldly  planting  their 
ladders,  clambered  over  the  sloping  bastions  under  a  tremendous 
fire,  and  carried  the  outer  palisades.  They  were  now  close  by  the 
Guben  gate.  Sir  John  Hepburn,  leading  on  his  pikemen,  was  just 
then  shot  in  the  knee.  He  noticed  Munro,  with  his  Highlanders, 
and  cried  out  to  him  (they  were,  as  I  have  mentioned,  old  friends), 
"  Bully,  Munro,  I  am  shot."  He  was  carried  away  in  great  pain. 
His  Major,  "  a  resolute  cavalier,"  who  had  advanced  to  take  his 
place  was  also  shot  dead,  "  whereupon  the  Pikes  falling  back  and 
standing  still,"  wavered  for  a  moment.  "  Forward !  "  cried  Munro 
to  his  Highlanders,  "  Advance,  Pikes  !  "  and  the  gate  was  stormed 
in  a  twinkling.  Side  by  side,  with  Hepburn's  Eegiment  now  led 
by  Lumsden,  the  Highlanders  rushed  on  ;  the  Austrians  were  driven 
back  in  confusion  ;  and  their  own  cannon  being  turned  on  them 
within  the  gate,  many  were  literally  blown  to  pieces.  On  Hepburn's 
men  and  the  Highlanders  pressed  through  one  street,  densely 
crowded  with  Imperial  troops,  followed  by  General  Sir  John  Banier 
with  his  brigade,  who  pressed  the  enemy  in  another.  Twice  the 
retreating  Imperialists  beat  a  parley  :  but  amid  the  roar  of  the 
musketry,  the  boom  of  the  artillery,  and  the  shouts  and  cries  of  the 
combatants,  the  sound  of  the  drum  was  unheeded.  Still  the  struggle 
continued,  and  the  carnage  went  on.  Inch  by  inch,  every  foot  of 
the  way  was  contested.  "  Quarter  !  quarter  !  "  cried  the  slowly  re- 
treating Austrians  ;  but  to  every  such  appeal  the  Scottish  soldiers' 
only  answer  was  "  New  Brandenburg  !  Eemernber  New  Branden- 
burg ! "  The  Scots  Brigade  still  pressed  forward,  and  Highlander 
and  Lowlander,  shoulder  to  shoulder,  advanced  like  moving  castles, 
the  long  pikes  levelled  in  front,  while  the  rear  ranks  of  musketeers 
volleyed  in  security  from  behind.  It  was  a  dreadful  retribution. 
Four  colonels,  thirty-six  other  officers,  and  about  three  thousand 
soldiers  of  the  Imperial  army  were  left  dead  in  the  streets.  Fifty 
colours  were  taken,  and  an  immense  quantity  of  treasure  ;  for  whole 
streets  were  left  "  full  of  coaches  and  rusty  waggons,  richly  fur- 
nished with  all  sorts  of  riches,  as  Plate,  Jewells,  Gold,  Money, 
Clothes,"  &c.,  a  great  portion  of  which  fell  to  the  share  of  the  vic- 
torious soldiery. 

The  total  loss  sustained  by  Gustavus's  army  was  about  eight 


Mackay's  Regiment  16'! 

hundred  men  ;  and  of  this  number  three  hundred  belonged  to  the 
Scots  Brigade.  Two  Colonels  were  the  only  officers  of  rank 
wounded. 

There  was  no  wilful  injury  done  to  any  of  the  inhabitants  ; 
and  as  soon  as  order  was  restored,  the  King  caused  a  day  of  thanks- 
giving to  be  observed  for  the  victory. 

The  army  remained  for  a  few  days  at  Frankfort,  and  then  Gus- 
tavus,  leaving  a  small  garrison  behind,  proceeded  to  Landsberg,  a 
strongly  fortified  town,  in  the  capture  of  which  the  Highlanders 
took  a  prominent  part.  Success  attended  the  Swedish  army,  and 
in  a  short  time  "  the  Lion  of  the  North  "  cleared  Pomerania  and 
Brandenburg  of  the  Imperialists.  The  Highlanders  returned  to 
Frankfort,  and  remained  there  five  weeks.  Then  followed  a  series 
of  marchings  and  counter-marchings,  in  which  there  were  frequent 
skirmishes  but  no  pitched  battles.  In  most  of  these  the  High- 
landers came  in  for  a  share  of  hard  knocks,  but  "  not  being  used 
to  be  beaten,"  they  always  came  off  with  credit. 

The  next  service  of  importance  was  the  battle  of  Leipzig,  fought 
on  the  7th  September,  1631.  This  great  battle  was  the  most  im- 
portant of  the  struggle,  and  may  be  said  to  have  formed  the  pivot, 
on  the  turning  of  which  the  liberties  of  Germany — of  Europe — 
depended.  The  Imperialists,  under  Tilly,  numbered  about  forty- 
four  thousand  men,  and  the  Swedish  army,  under  Gustavus,  about 
thirty  thousand.  At  one  time  it  seemed  as  if  fortune  were  about  to 
forsake  the  Swedish  King,  for  the  Saxon  cavalry,  on  being  charged 
by  the  Imperial  horsemen,  turned  and  fled,  their  cowardly  leader 
being  the  first  to  quit  the  field,  from  which  he  rode  ten  miles  with- 
out drawing  bridle.  The  Imperialists  finding  the  Saxon  cavalry 
too  swift  for  them,  and  seeing  the  Scottish  regiments  advancing, 
stopped,  when  their  leader  cried,  "  let  us  beat  these  curs,  and  then 
all  Germany  is  our  own;"*  but  the  deadly  fire  of  the  Scottish 
musketeers  checked  their  career,  and  emptied  many  a  saddle. 
Hepburn,  who  was  again  able  to  take  his  command,  was  advancing 
with  his  Brigade,  which  he  kept  moving  steadily  on  until  they  got 
so  close  to  the  Austrian  soldiers,  that  the  very  colour  of  their  eyes 
was  visible.  Then  he  gave  the  word,  "  Forward,  pikes  !  "  In  a 
moment  the  old  Scottish  weapon  was  levelled  to  the  charge,  and 
with  a  loud  cheer,  each  of  the  four  regiments  rushed  on  the  columns 
of  Tilly,  driving  them  back  in  irredeemable  confusion,  and  with 
frightful  slaughter.  Lord  Eeay's  Highlanders  "  formed  the  leading 
column  .  .  .  and  had  the  honour  of  first  breaking  the  Austrian 

*  Memoiri  of  Sir  John  Hepburn. 


1 70  Gaelic  Society  of  In  verness. 

ranks.  They  were  [then]  a  thousand  strong,  composed  of  that 
nobleman's  own  immediate  clansmen ;  and  the  Imperialists  re- 
garded them  with  terror,  calling  them  the  invincible  old  Regiment, 
and  the  right  hand  of  Gustavus  Adolphus."* 

I  shall  not  attempt  to  describe  the  battle.  The  Imperialists 
suffered  a  most  severe  defeat,  and  their  retreat  from  the  battlefield 
was  like  a  race  for  life.  Unfortunately  Gustavus  did  not  follow 
up  his  victory  by  pursuing  the  enemy,  and  marching  on  to  Vienna, 
where  the  panic  was  so  great,  that  he  could  probably  have  arranged 
satisfactory  terms,  and  so  ended  the  war.  This,  at  all  events,  is 
the  opinion  of  some  of  the  historians. 

Tilly  was  wounded  and  once  taken  prisoner,  and  was  only  res- 
cued after  a  desperate  conflict.  Though  cruel,  he  was  personally 
brave,  and  it  is  reported  "  burst  into  a  passion  of  tears  on  beholding 
the  slaughter  of  his  soldiers,  and  finding  that  the  field,  after  a  five 
hours'  struggle,  was  lost  by  the  advance  of  Hepburn."  He  escaped, 
but  he  left  many  of  his  best  officers,  and  nearly  eight  thousand 
soldiers,  dead  on  the  field. 

It  was  at  Leipzig  "  that  the  Scottish  regiments  first  practised 
firing  in  platoons,  which  amazed  the  Imperialists  to  such  a  degree 
that  they  hardly  knew  how  to  conduct  themselves,  "t 

The  Scots  Brigade  was  publicly  thanked  in  presence  of  the 
whole  army,  and  promised  noble  rewards,  as  we  are  told  by  Munro, 
who  modestly  adds — "  The  battaile  thus  happily  wonne,  his  Ma- 
jesty did  principally  under  God  ascribe  the  glory  of  the  victory  to 
the  Sweds  and  Fynnes  horsemen  .  .  .  yet  it  was  the  Scots 
Briggads  fortune  to  have  gotten  the  praise  for  the  foote  service  ; 
and  not  without  cause,  having  behaved  themselves  well,  being  led 
and  conducted  by  an  expert  Cavalier  and  fortunat,  the  valiant 
Hepburne." 

The  loss  sustained  by  the  Scottish  soldiers  is  not  mentioned ; 
but  Gustavus's  total  loss  did  not  exceed  three  thousand  men,  and  of 
this  number  only  seven  hundred  were  of  the  Swedish  army ;  the 
rest  being  Saxons.  One  half  of  Gustavus's  army  on  this  occasion 
was  made  up  of  Saxons  ;  and,  as  I  have  mentioned,  they  early  in 
the  day  tried  to  find  safety  in  flight.  The  battle  may  therefore  be 
said  to  have  been  an  engagement  bet\yeen  fifteen  thousand  men  on 
the  part  of  the  Swedish  King,  and  forty-four  thousand  on  that  of 
the  Emperor  of  Austria. 

Many  prisoners  were  taken,  and  an  immense  amount  of  booty. 

*  Hepburn's  Memoirs. 
"    f  Harte's  Life  of  Gustavus. 


Mackay's  Regiment  171 

Of  the  prisoners,  three  thousand  expressed  themselves  willing  to 
take  service  with  Gustavus,  and  were  distributed  among  the  Dutch 
Regiments.  Munro  relates  that  he  requested  the  King's  permission 
to  fill  up  the  ranks  of  Mackay's  Regiment  from  among  the  British 
and  Irish  who  might  be  among  those  three  thousand,  seeing  that 
the  Regiment  had  become  weak  from  "  the  great  losse  sustained 
on  all  the  former  occasions  of  service."  This  request  the  King 
granted,  and  Munro  went  away  "  overjoyed,  thinking  to  get  a 
recreut  of  old  Souldiers,"  but  he  was  sadly  disappointed,  for 
there  were  only  three  Irish  among  the  prisoners,  and  he  declined 
to  take  them. 

"  After  the  battle  of  Leipzig,  with  the  sword  in  one  hand,  and 
nieicy  in  the  other,  Gustavus  Adolphus  traversed  Germany  as  a 
conqueror,  a  lawgiver,  and  a  judge,  almost  with  as  much  rapidity 
as  another  could  have  done  on  a  journey  of  pleasure,  while  the 
keys  of  towns  and  fortresses  were  delivered  to  him  by  the  inhabit- 
ants as  to  their  lawful  sovereign."* 

I  need  not  enumerate  the  various  places  that  were  taken  by 
the  "  ever  victorious  army  ;  "  but  will  merely  mention  that  before 
the  end  of  September,  all  the  towns  between  Leipzig  and  Wurtz- 
burg  had  surrendered  to  the  King. 

At  Halle,  Munro  mentions  he  got  "  fifty  old  souldiers  that  took 
service  in  the  Regiment."  Here  also,  he  adds,  "  His  Majesty  on 
the  Sabbath  day  in  the  morning  went  to  Church,  to  give  thanks 
to  God  for  his  by-past  victories  :  this  Church  being  the  Bishop's 
Cathedrall  seate,  I  did  heare  there  sung  the  sweetest  melodious 
iQUsicke  that  could  be  heard,  where  I  did  also  see  the  most  beauti- 
ful women  Dutchland  could  afoord." 

Oppenheim,  an  ancient  town  on  the  Rhine,  with  a  strong  castle, 
was  taken  in  the  month  of  December.  The  weather  was  bitterly 
cold,  with  frost  and  snow,  and  the  Brigade  had  to  lie  in  the  fields, 
having  no  shelter  but  some  bushes.  The  enemy's  cannon  plagued 
them  much,  especially  at  night,  when  the  camp  fires  were  lighted  ; 
for  the  light  from  these  fires  served  the  enemy  as  a  mark,  and  the 
Brigade  suffered  considerably  in  consequence  from  their  shot. 
"  Sitting  one  night  at  supper,"  says  Munro,  "  a  Bullet  of  thirty  two 
pound  weight,  shot  right  out  betwixt  Colonell  Hepburnes  shoulder 
and  mine,  going  through  the  Colonells  Coach  ;  the  next  shot 
kill'd  a  Sergeant  of  mine,  by  the  fire,  drinking  a  pipe  of  Tobacco." 

The  castle  was  taken  the  next  day.  The  garrison,  "  being 
Italians,"  got  "  more  honourable  quarters  than  in  truth  their  car- 

*  Schillers'  Thirty  Years  AVar. 


172  Gaelic  Society  of  In  verness. 

riage  did  deserve,  having  got  licence  to  march  out,  Bag  and  Baggage, 
with  full  Armes." 

One  hundred  of  Lord  Eeay's  Highlanders  and  one  hundred  of 
Lumsden's  musketeers  were  placed  in  the  castle,  and  Hepburn  with 
the  rest  of  the  Brigade  then  crossed  the  Rhine  to  assist  Gustavus 
in  reducing  the  old  castle  of  Oppenheim,  a  place  of  vast  size  and 
strength. 

Mentz  (or  Mayence),  reputed  by  the  Germans  of  old  the  strongest 
of  their  fortresses,  was  the  next  important  point  to  which  Gustavus 
marched  his  army.  "  Colonell  Hepburnes  Briggad  (according  to 
use)  was  directed  to  the  most  dangerous  Poste,  next  the  enemy." 
They  were  cannonaded  from  the  citadel,  and  of  course  lost  many 
men. 

After  being  invested  three  days,  the  town  was  delivered  up 
under  a  treaty,  the  garrison  marching  out,  but  without  arms. 
"  They  being  gone,  quarters  were  made  for  the  whole  foote  within 
the  Towne,  where  three  days  before  Christmasse  we  were  quartered, 
and  remained  there,  being  lodged  in  the  extremitie  of  the  cold  with 
the  Hopstaffe,*  to  the  fifth  of  March  1632."  "At  this  siege," 
adds  Munro,  "  our  Briggad  did  sustaine  more  hurt  than  the  rest  of 
the  Armie,  being  most  employed  on  all  commands,  both  in  respect 
of  their  valour,  and  of  the  good  conduct  and  fortune  followed  them, 
and  their  Leaders." 

On  the  oth  of  March,  Hepburn's  Brigade  left  Mentz.  They 
had  been  ten  weeks  in  that  city,  and  were  well  rested  after  the 
severe  campaign  of  the  previous  year.  "  Their  arms  and  accoutre- 
ments were  polished  till  they  shone  like  silver  in  the  spring  sun- 
shine, as  with  their  green  silk  standards  unfurled,  and  their  drums 
beating  and  tall  pikes  glittering  "  they  "  crossed  the  Ehine  by  the 
pontoon  bridge.  Lord  Reay's  Kilted  Highlanders  with  pipes  play- 
ing and  matches  lighted,  formed  the  leading  column  of  the  brigade, 
which,  conform  to  his  orders,  Hepburn  marched  straight  to  Frank- 
fort, on  the  Maine. "t  From  thence  they  marched  to  Aschaffen- 
burg,  where  they  were  reviewed  by  Gustavus  and  the  King  of 
B.ohemia.  Then  crossing  the  Maine,  they  commenced  their  march 
towards  Bavaria,  which  the  King  had  resolved  to  invade  and  clear 
of  the  Imperialists.  Arriving  at  Weinsheim  on  the  10th,  they 
were  again  reviewed  by  Gustavus  and  the  King  of  Bohemia,  and 
Hepburn  was  complimented  on  the  fine  appearance  and  distinguished 
bravery  of  his  soldiers.  The  King  of  Bohemia  expressed  a  deep 

*  The  principal  officers  of  the  staff, 
t  Memoirs  of  Sir  John  Hepburn. 


Mackay's  Regiment  173 

interest  in  the  Scottish  troops,  as  being  the  countrymen  of  Eliza- 
beth Stuart,  his  beautiful  and  high  spirited  Queen. 

Gustavus  had  mustered  a  large  army  at  Weinsheim,  there  hav- 
ing been  present  at  the  review  a  force  of  twenty  thousand  horse 
and  foot,  besides  artillery.  After  the  review,  the  march  was 
resumed.  On  the  26th,  Donauworth  was  taken.  It  was  a  short 
but  sharp  conflict.  Here  Hepburn  was  again  publicly  thanked 
for  his  good  services,  the  whole  honour  of  the  capture  being  ascribed 
to  his  courage,  and  the  masterly  conduct  of  his  soldiers  ;  for,  says 
Munro,  "  had  it  not  beene  for  the  valour  of  the  Scots  Briggad,  they 
had  all  beene  lost  and  defeated  by  "  the  enemy. 

The  following  incident  in  connection  with  the  taking  of  Donau- 
worth is  related.  The  Eex  Chancellor  Oxenstiern  ordered  the  Dutch 
regiments  to  march  towards  the  enemy,  and  "  beate  the  Scots  march, 
thinking  thereby  to  affright  the  enemy  ;  but  it  fell  out  contrary." 
The  Imperialists  charged.  The  Dutch  at  once  turned  and  fled, 
and  "  made  a  base  retreate,"  but  the  Scots  coming  up,  resisted  the 
enemy,  and  gave  "  the  victory  that  before  was  doubtful "  to  the 
Swedes.* 

After  resting  four  days  at  Donauworth,  Gustavus,  having  re- 
ceived large  reinforcements,  advanced  at  the  head  of  thirty-two 
thousand  horse  and  foot,  to  force  the  passage  of  the  Lech.  On  the 
Bavarian  side  of  the  river,  Tilly,  with  a  large  body  of  troops,  lined 
the  banks  at  the  very  point  towards  which  Gustavus  was  marching 
with  his  army.  They  came  in  view  of  each  other  on  the  5th  April, 
and  the  battle  at  once  began.  The  bronzed  veterans  of  Tilly  stood 
firm,  and  for  thirty-six  hours  a  cross  fire  was  maintained  by  the 
artillery  of  the  two  armies,  from  opposite  sides  of  the  stream.  The 
Austrians  suffered  severely.  Tilly,  then  seventy-two  years  of  age, 
was  shot  in  the  leg,  and  from  the  nature  of  his  wound  was  forced 
to  retire.  Deprived  of  the  animating  presence  of  their  leader,  the 
Austrians  gave  way  and  retreated.  Gustavus  then  crossed  the 
river,  the  Scots  Brigade  forming  the  van,  for  in  every  desperate 
duty  they  had  the  post  of  honour.  Three  days  afterwards  Tilly 
expired  in  great  agony  at  Ingolstadt,  to  which  city  he  had  retreated 
with  a  portion  of  his  army. 

Gustavus,  with  his  invincibles,  swept  on  like  a  comet !  City 
after  city  was  taken,  and  in  a  short  time  the  whole  of  Bavaria,  as 
far  as  the  barriers  of  the  Capital,  lay  open  to  his  soldiers,  whose 

*  Grant  in  his  Memoirs  of  Sir  John  Hepburn  says,  The  Dutch  here  resorted 
to  their  old  ruse  of  beating  the  Scottish  March,  as  they  approached  the  enemy  ; 
and  again,  The  Dutch  in  Gustavus's  service  were  many  times  glad  to  beat  "  the 
old  Scots  march  "  when  they  designed  to  frighten  or  alarm  the  enemy. 


174  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

valour  seemed  to  be  irresistible.  On  the  6th  of  May  the  victorious 
army  halted  before  Munich. 

Fearing  that  resistance  might  be  made,  Gustavus  sent  Hepburn 
with  his  brigade  round  the  town,  by  a  circuitous  road,  to  the  bridge 
of  the  Iser  ;  where,  arriving  in  the  night,  they  remained  under 
arms  till  daybreak.  Then  the  Scots  Brigade  had  the  honour  of 
first  entering  the  city.  "  The  din  of  their  drums  beating  the  old 
Scots  March,  mingled  with  the  wild  war  pipes  of  Lord  Jteay's 
Highlanders,  ringing  in  the  empty  and  stately  streets  of  the  Bavarian 
Capital,  spread  terror  and  consternation  among  the  citizens  ;  "  but 
the  leading  men  had  faith  "  in  the  magnanimity  of  the  conqueror 
and  the  mercy  of  his  chivalric  soldiers,"  and  received  Gustavus  and 
his  army  with  all  due  respect. 

Only  the  Scottish  Eegiments  were  permitted  to  have  their 
quarters  within  the  walls  of  Munich,  the  rest  of  the  army  being 
encamped  outside  the  city ;  and  to  the  Highlanders  was  entrusted 
the  honourable  duty  of  being  body-guard  to  the  King  during  the 
three  weeks  they  were  in  the  Bavarian  Capital.  The  Highland 
pikemen  stood  in  all  the  doorways  and  staircases,  and  the  officers 
were  not  permitted  to  leave  their  guards,  having  their  meals  served 
up  from  the  King's  own  table.*  This  preference  excited  the  jeal- 
ousy of  the  Swedes  and  Dutch.  Munro  says — We  were  "  ordained 
to  lie  in  the  great  Courte  of  the  Palace,  night  and  day  at  our 
Annes,  to  guard  both  the  Kings  persone,  and  to  set  out  all  Guards 
about  the  Palace,  where  I  was  commanded  with  our  whole  officers, 
not  to  stirre  off  our  watch,  having  allowance  of  Table  and  diet  for 
us  and  our  officers  within  his  Majesties  house,  to  the  end  we  might 
the  better  look  to  our  watch  :  and  the  command  of  directions  under 
stayers  [stairs]  was  put  upon  me,  being  then  Commander  of  the 
Guards ;  where  I  had  power  over  the  whole  officers  belonging  to 
the  house,  and  might  have  commanded  to  give  out  anything  to 
pleasure  Cavaliers  ;  having  stayed  in  this  charge  three  weekes  nobly 
entertained." 

On  the  1st  June  the  King  issued  orders  to  Hepburn  to  leave 
Munich  with  the  Scots  Brigade  for  Donauworth,  where  they  were 
to  join  the  main  army.  From  Donauworth  they  marched  to  Furth, 
a  few  miles  from  Nurnberg,  and  there  Gustavus  at  once  made  pre- 
parations for  opposing  Wallenstein,  the  Imperialist  Commander  in 
Chief,  who  was  reported  to  be  advancing  with  great  rapidity,  and 
only  a  few  days'  march  distant.  He  had  a  force  of  about  sixty 
thousand  men,  while  Gustavus  had  then  only  eighteen  thousand. 

*  Memoirs'of  Sir  John  Hepburn. 


Mackay's  Regiment.  175 

Gustavus.  however,  occupied  a  good  position,  which  he  resolved 
to  strengthen  and  defend.  The  people  of  Nurnberg,  moreover, 
were  favourable  to  his  cause,  and  immediately  raised  twenty-four 
companies  of  musketry  for  his  assistance.  He  also  called  upon  the 
Duke  of  Saxe  Weimar  and  others  for  aid,  which  was  at  once 
granted.  Protestant  soldiers  too,  of  all  nations  flocked  to  his 
banner ;  and  by  the  end  of  July  he  found  himself  at  the  head  of 
an  army  of  seventy  thousand  men. 

Here  unfortunately  Hepburn  quarrelled  with  Gustavus,  and  left 
his  service.  Various  reasons  have  been  assigned  as  the  cause  of 
the  quarrel,  one  of  which  is  that  the  King  upbraided  Hepburn  on 
account  of  his  religion,  which  was  Roman  Catholic,  and  which  he 
prized  more  than  his  life.  He  had  left  Scotland  to  fight  for  Eliza- 
beth Stuart,  and  not  for  the  Protestant  cause,  although,  as  we  know, 
her  cause  became  that  of  Protestantism.  But,  whatever  the  quarrel, 
Hepburn  resigned  his  commission,  and  haughtily  withdrew.  He 
returned  to  Britain,  and  six  months  later  entered  the  service  of 
France. 

Gustavus  had  placed  more  confidence  in  him  than  in  any  other 
officer  (he  was  seven  years  in  his  service),  and  "  made  several  con- 
descensions to  Hepburn  and  appeared  particularly  desirous  of  re- 
taining so  valuable  an  officer  in  his  service  ;  but  the  Scottish  hero 
was  inflexible.  Unable  to  brooke  an  imaginary  insult  even  for  a 
moment,  '  Sire,'  replied  the  fiery  cavalier,  laying  his  hand  upon  his 
rapier,  '  I  will  never  more  unsheath  this  sword  in  the  quarrels  of 
Sweden.'  "* 

No  one  regretted  the  departure  of  Hepburn  more  than  Munro. 
They  were  very  old  friends.  I  was  "  ever  much  obliged  to  him," 
writes  Munro,  "  not  only  for  his  love  .  .  .  but  also  for  his 
good  counsel!,  he  being  long  before  me  in  the  Sivedens  service. 
And  as  we  were  oft  Camerades  of  danger  together ;  so  being  long 
acquainted  we  were  Camerades  in  love :  first  at  Colledge,  next  in 
our  tra veils  in  France,  at  Paris  and  Poictiers  Anno  1615,  till  we 
met  againe  in  Spruce  [East  Prussia]  at  Elben  in  August  1630.  .  .  . 
Who  is  more  worthy  to  be  chosen  for  a  friend,  than  one  who  hath 
showne  himselfe  both  valiant  and  constant  against  his  enemies,  as 
the  worthy  Hepburne  hath  done,  who  is  generally  so  well  known 
in  Armies,  that  he  needs  no  testimony  of  a  friend,  having  credit 
and  reputation  enough  amongst  his  enemies." 

It  was  not,  however,  till  after  the  battle  of  Nurnberg  had  been 
fought,  and  the  army  of  Gustavus  had  retired  to  Newstadt,  that 

*  Memoirs  of  Sir  John  Hepburn. 


1 76  Gaelic  Society  of  In  verness. 

Hepburn  left  his  old  friends.  Although  refusing  to  take  any  active 
part  in  the  engagement,  he  yet,  by  his  advice  and  otherwise,  was  of 
great  service.  When  he  did  leave,  all  the  Scottish  officers  in  the 
Swedish  army  accompanied  him  a  long  German  mile*  on  the  road  ; 
and  when  the  moment  of  parting  came,  it  was  like  the  separation 
which  "  death  makes  betwixt  friends  and  the  soule  of  men,  being 
sorry  that  those  who  lived  so  long  together  in  amitie  and  friend- 
ship, as  also  in  mutuall  dangers,  in  weale  and  in  woe,  and  fearing 
we  should  not  meet  againe,  the  splendour  of  our  former  mirth  was 
obnubilated  with  a  cloud  of  griefe  and  sorrow ;  which  vanished  and 
dissolved  in  mutuall  teares  of  love,  severing  from  other,  in  love  and 
amitie  ;  wishing  one  another  the  mutuall  enterchange  of  our  affec- 
tions, as  souldiers,  and  not  as  complementing  courtiers." 

The  two  armies  had  now  been  lying  in  sight  of  each  other  in- 
trenched in  their  respective  camps  for  about  six  weeks,  and  no 
regular  engagement  had  taken  place  between  them.  There  had 
been  a  good  deal  of  skirmishing  and  intercepting  of  convoys,  but 
nothing  further — the  one  was  waiting  for  the  other  to  begin  the 
attack.  Provisions  had  for  some  time  been  getting  scarce  in  both 
camps — it  was  next  to  impossible  for  either  to  get  supplies,  and  the 
people  in  the  town  were  almost  in  a  state  of  starvation.  It  was  ne- 
cessary, therefore,  that  a  decisive  step  should  be  taken. 

On  the  22nd  August,  the  battle  may  be  said  to  have  begun,  and 
the  fighting,  which  continued  for  three  days,  was  of  a  most  desperate 
character.  Munro  had  been  appointed  to  the  command  of  the  Scots 
Brigade  on  the  resignation  of  Hepburn,  and  on  his  first  service  in 
that  capacity  was  severely  wounded.  Many  of  his  officers  were 
killed,  and  the  Brigade  suffered  so  severely  that  there  were  hardly 
pikemen  left  to  guard  the  colours.  The  musketeers  also  suffered, 
but  not  in  an  equal  degree.  It  was  a  drawn  battle.  Both  parties 
remained  in  their  respective  positions  till  the  14th  September,  when, 
leaving  five  thousand  men  in  Nurnberg,  Gustavus  retreated  "  to- 
wards Neustadt,  leaving  no  less  than  ten  thousand  citizens  and 
twenty  thousand  soldiers  dead  behind  him,  in  and  around  Uurn- 
berg ;  for  such  were  the  terrible  effects  of  sickness,  famine,  and  the 
casualties  of  war."* 

When  the  Imperialists  discovered  that  the  army  of  Gustavus  had 
left,  they  also  took  their  departure  from  Nurnberg,  burning  all  the 
villages  that  were  near.  They  took  a  northerly  direction,  marching  to 
Forchheim,  while  Gustavus  had  moved  towards  the  west  and  south. 

*  A  German  mile  is  equal  to  three  and  a  half  English  miles, 
t  Memoirs  of  Sir  John  Hepburn. 


Mackay's  Regiment  177 

The  Scots  Brigade  was  so  reduced  in  numbers  that,  when  they 
got  to  Dunkelsbiihl  about  the  end  of  September,  the  King  gave 
orders  that  they  should  go  into  quarters  for  rest,  and  to  wait  re- 
cruits. His  Majesty  took  leave  of  the  remnant  of  the  Brigade  in 
view  of  the  whole  army,  thanking  them  for  their  past  services,  and 
saying  he  was  grieved  to  leave  them  behind.  He  appointed  quar- 
ters for  them,  the  best  in  Swabia,  and  then  calling  upon  the  Count- 
palatine  Christian,  recommended  them  particularly  to  his  care,  and 
ordered  that  all  moneys  due  them  should  be  paid  up.  He  hoped, 
he  said,  he  would  find  the  Eegiments  strengthened  against  his 
return. 

Munro,  somewhat  recovered  from  his  wounds,  took  leave  of 
the  King  at  Donau worth  on  the  llth  of  October.  They  never  met 
again,  for  within  one  month  after  their  parting,  the  great  Gustavus 
was  slain  on  the  plains  of  Liitzen,  near  Leipzig.*  This  was  on  the 
6th  November,  1632.  It  is  remarkable  that  this  unfortunate  occa- 
sion was  the  only  one  in  which  he  had  engaged  the  enemy  without 
the  mass  of  his  Scottish  troops.  But  although  the  King  was  slain, 
victory  remained  with  the  Swedish  army ;  for  Wallenstein  and  his 
Imperialists  were  totally  defeated,  and  forced  to  retreat  to  the 
Mountains  of  Bohemia. 

With  Gustavus  were  buried  the  hopes  of  the  Elector  Frederick, 
who,  finding  the  Bohemian  throne  was  lost  to  him  for  ever,  died 
soon  after,  it  is  said,  of  chagrin  and  grief. 

The  death  of  "  the  Lyon  of  the  North,  the  invincible  King  of 
Sweden,"  was  a  great  blow  to  the  cause  for  which  he  had  been 
righting,  and  which  he  had  so  much  at  heart.  Munro  seems  almost 
to  have  worshipped  him,  and  in  his  panegyric  says — "  if  Apelles 
with  his  skill  in  painting,  and  Cicero  with  his  tongue  in  speaking, 
were  both  alive,  and  pressed  to  adde  anything  to  the  perfection  of 
our  Master,  Captaine  and  King,  truely  the  ones  best  Colours,  and 
the  others  best  Words  were  not  able  to  adde  one  shaddow  to  the 
brightnesse  of  his  Eoyall  Minde  and  Spirit ;  So  that  while  the 
world  stands,  our  King,  Captaine  and  Master  cannot  be  enough 
praised." 

*  Several  officers  who  had  served  in  Mackay's  Regiment  were  with  Gustavus 
at  Liitzen  ;  and  William  Mackay  (son  of  Donald  of  Scoury),  then  a  lieutenant- 
colonel  of  Swedes,  fell  there  along  with  his  Commander. 

The  large  rowelled  spurs  which  Gustavus  had  on  when  he  was  slain  are  pre- 
served in  the  museum  of  the  Society  of  Antiquaries,  Edinburgh.  They  were  taken 
off  his  boots  on  the  field  of  battle,  by  Colonel  Hugh  Somerville,  then  his  aide-de- 
camp, and  presented  to  the  Society  by  Sir  G.  Colquhoun  on  the  8th  July,  1761. 
They  are  interesting  relics,  in  so  far  as  they  were  worn  by  one  who  was  probably 
the  greatest  military  genius  of  the  seventeenth  century,  and  under  whom  so  many 
Scotsmen  of  eminence  served  and  learned  the  art  of  war. 

12 


178  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

There  is  now  but  little  more  to  say  regarding  Mackay's  High- 
landers. In  the  summer  of  1632,  Lord  Reay  had  decided  to  take 
no  further  personal  share  in  the  command,  and,  while  the  Regiment 
was  at  Nurnberg,  sent  instructions  to  Munro  to  deal  with  the  King 
for  the  making  up  of  the  Regiment,  which  was  then  greatly  reduced. 
Hence,  probably,  one  of  the  reasons  why  Gustavus  sent  the  Regi- 
ment into  quarters  to  wait  for  recruits. 

Although  sent  to  Swabia  to  rest,  the  Scots  Brigade  were  not 
allowed  to  be  idle.  They,  along  with  some  Swedes,  and  Sir  John 
Ruthven's  Brigade,  were  marched  to  Landsberg,  which  they  be- 
sieged. When  the  town  was  invested,  there  arose  a  rivalry  or 
"  contestation  of  vertue,"  between  the  Scotsmen,  as  to  which  of 
them,  with  their  approaches,  should  first  come  to  the  wall.  But 
the  Highlanders  had  the  best  of  it,  as  Ruthven's  Brigade  "  could 
not  but  acknowledge  ;  .  .  .  for  in  effect,"  says  Munro,  "  we 
were  their  Schoolmasters  in  Discipline,"  and  they  "  were  forced, 
notwithstanding  of  their  diligence,  to  yield  the  precedency  unto  us, 
being  older  blades  than  themselves." 

Landsberg  was  taken ;  and  then,  instead  of  returning  to  their 
appointed  quarters,  "  to  rest  and  recruit,"  the  Scottish  Regiments 
were  kept  constantly  on  the  move  ;  and  many  a  weary  march  they 
had,  and  many  a  stubborn  fight.  The  shores  of  the  Danube  had 
to  be  scoured  by  the  hardy  band  ;  Kauf  beuren  had  to  be  stormed ; 
and  Kempten  to  be  besieged ;  and,  in  addition,  many  a  small  town 
and  fortress,  which  had  been  taken  possession  of  by  the  enemy, 
had  to  be  recaptured,  and  held  for  the  representatives  of  Gustavus. 

Munro  mentions  that  during  these  movements  he  was  unable 
to  walk,  owing  to  his  wounds,  so  he  commanded  his  troops  on 
horseback,  from  which  it  may  be  inferred  that  a  Colonel  of  In- 
fantry in  those  days  led  his  men  on  foot,  like  the  Captain  of  a 
Company. 

In  July,  1633,  the  Scottish  Regiment,  which  had  been  raised 
about  three  years  previously  by  Lord  Reay,  at  the  request  of  Gustavus 
Adolphus,  and  the  command  of  which  had  been  given  to  Munro  of 
Obisdell,*  was  so  reduced  in  numbers  that  only  two  companies 
were  left.  These  two  companies  were,  by  orders  of  Rex  Chancellor 
Oxenstiern,  handed  over  to  Munro,  and  joined  to  Lord  Reay's 
Highlanders. 

Munro  was  very  desirous  of  having  the  Regiment  made  up  to 
its  full  strength,  and  shortly  afterwards  left  Germany  for  Scotland, 
to  procure  recruits.  Lieutenant-Colonel  John  Sinclair  (brother  of 

*  Brother  of  Lieut, -Colonel  Munro,  the  author  of  the  Expedition. 


Mackay's  Regiment  179 

the  Earl  of  Caithness)  got  command  of  the  Eegiment  on  his  de- 
parture ;  but  Sinclair  was  killed  at  the  battle  of  Xeumark,  almost 
immediately  thereafter.  The  command  then  devolved  on  Major 
William  Stewart  (brother  of  the  Earl  of  Traquair),  who  thus  be- 
came Lieutenant-Colonel  of  the  Regiment. 

Recruits  arrived  from  time  to  time,  and  within  twelve 
months  after  Munro's  departure  the  ranks  of  the  Highlanders 
were  well  made  up  ;  for  in  1634  they  again  mustered  twelve 
companies,  or  from  eighteen  hundred  to  two  thousand  men. 
That  was  a  disastrous  year  for  them,  for  on  the  26th  of  August,  the 
terrible  battle  of  Nordlingen  was  fought. 

After  the  death  of  Gustavus,  jealousy  on  the  part  of  the  leaders 
of  the  Swedish  army  prevented  that  unanimity  of  action  among  the 
generals,  which  is  so  necessary  for  the  successful  carrying  out  of 
any  campaign.  At  the  battle  of  Nordlingen  the  disastrous  eifects 
of  this  were  painfully  exemplified,  for  the  petty  jealousies  of  those 
in  command  led  to  no  properly  defined  plan  of  attack  having  been 
arranged,  and  the  result  was  that  after  a  desperate  struggle,  the 
Imperialists,  under  Ferdinand,  the  young  King  of  Hungary,  and 
Generals  Gallas  and  Von  Werth,  gained  a  complete  victory  over 
the  Swedes.  Field  Marshal  Home,  one  of  the  best  and  bravest 
of  the  Swedish  ofiicers,  was  taken  prisoner.  But,  notwithstanding 
these  jealousies,  had  the  other  sections  of  the  Swedish  army  fought 
as  well  as  the  Highlanders,  the  result  would  have  been  different. 
It  was  a  dreadful  day  for  Mackay's  Regiment,  for  out  of  the  twelve 
companies  of  which  it  was  then  composed,  only  one  company  sur- 
vived, the  rest  having  literally  been  cut  to  pieces.  This  was  such 
a  frightful  disaster  that  the  Regiment  did  not  recover  from  the  loss. 

Nearly  all  the  German  allies  of  Sweden  deserted  her  after  the 
defeat  at  Nordlingen,  and  selfishly  entered  into  a  treaty  with 
Austria,  for  the  security  of  their  territories. 

Called  in  originally  to  assist  the  German  Protestants,  the 
Swedes  found  themselves,  after  years  of  hard  fighting,  all  at  once 
deserted  by  the  very  men  for  whose  liberties  they  had  been  shed- 
ding their  blood,  and  regarded  as  foreigners  and  intruders,  whom  it 
was  expedient  to  get  rid  of  as  quickly  as  possible.  The  whole 
weight  of  the  war  was  thus  thrown  upon  Sweden.  But  a  new  and 
unexpected  ally  against  Austria  was  soon  found.  That  ally  was 
France.  The  war  which  had  been  begun  for  a  noble  purpose 
then  assumed  the  character  of  a  struggle  for  the  most  selfish 
ends.  France  was  jealous  of  the  immense  power  of  Austria, 
and  had  long  been  waiting  for  a  favourable  opportunity  to  take  a 
part  in  the  conflict.  That  moment  had  arrived,  and  it  seemed  that 


1 80  Gaelic  Society  of  In  verness. 

French  interests  could  best  be  served  by  co-operating  with  Sweden. 
The  war  after  this  was  waged  between  France,  Sweden,  and  one 
or  two  of  the  small  German  States  on  the  one  hand,  and  Austria, 
with  the  vast  majority  of  the  German  States,  on  the  other.  I  need 
not  enter  further  into  the  details  of  the  struggle.  Ultimately 
Sweden  and  her  allies  triumphed,  the  power  of  Austria  was  much 
curtailed,  and  the  thirty  years'  war  came  to  an  end.  The  treaty 
of  peace  was  signed  on  the  24th  of  October,  1648.  I  may  men- 
tion that,  by  that  treaty  France  obtained  the  sovereignty  of  Upper 
and  Lower  Alsace,  and  a  number  of  minor  properties,  which,  after 
holding  for  upwards  of  two  hundred  years,  she  had  to  resign  to 
Germany,  as  the  result  of  the  late  Franco-German  war. 

CONCLUSION. 

But  what  about  the  few  Highlanders  who  survived  the  battle 
of  Nordlingen  1  The  story  is  soon  told. 

After  that  disaster  the  remnants  of  the  Scottish  regiments  were 
placed  under  the  command  of  Duke  Bernard  of  Saxe- Weimar,  who 
for  a  considerable  time  hovered  about  the  Khine,  and  kept  the  Im- 
perialists at  bay.  When  the  agreement  had  been  arranged  between 
Sweden  and  France,  it  was  decided  that  Duke  Bernard's  troops 
should  be  taken  into  the  pay  of  the  latter  country ;  and  shortly 
afterwards  a  junction  was  formed  at  Landau  between  Duke  Ber- 
nard's forces  and  the  French  troops,  which  were  under  the  command 
of  Marshal  de  la  Force  and  Sir  John  Hepburn.  Duke  Bernard 
had  only  a  small  army,  "  but  there  were  none  save  brave  and  ex- 
perienced men  in  it ;  and  the  officers  were  all  soldiers  of  fortune, 
who  expected  to  raise  their  fame  by  the  sword  alone."  The  foot 
consisted  almost  entirely  of  Scotsmen,  and  were  all  that  remained 
of  the  thirteen  gallant  regiments  which  had  served  so  long  and  so 
bravely  under  Gustavus.  Among  those  veterans  were  the  remnants 
of  Hepburn's  own  old  regiment,  and  the  one  remaining  company  of 
Mackay's  Highlanders.  "  All  greeted  their  old  commander  with 
acclamation  and  joy,  by  beating  the  Scottish  march  as  he  approached, 
while  a  deafening  cheer  rang  along  their  sunburnt  lines,  and  the 
last  solitary  piper  o/ MACKAY'S  HIGHLANDERS  blew  long  and  loudly 
a  note  of  welcome  on  the  great  war  pipe  of  the  north  ;  and  as  they 
all  wished  to  '  take  service '  under  him  in  France,  the  whole  were 
incorporated  into  one  corps,  to  be  styled  in  future  Le  Regiment  d' 
Hebron."*  .  .  .  "It  consisted  of  3  field  officers,  viz., 

*  Hepburn's  name  is  spelled  in  this  way  in  the  French  military  records. 


Mackay's  Regiment  181 

Colonel  Sir  John  Hepburn,  Lieutenant-Colonel  Munro,  and 
Major  Sir  Patrick  Monteith  ;  45  captains  ;  1  captain-lieutenant ; 
45  lieutenants  ;  48  ensigns  ;  4  surgeons  ;  6  adjutants  ;  2  chaplains  ; 
1  drum-major ;  1  piper ;  88  sergeants ;  288  corporals  ;  288 
lance-pesades  ;  96  drummers ;  in  all  48  companies,  consisting  of 
150  musketeers  and  pikemen  each — making  a  grand  total  of 
8116  men  ;  and  forming  altogether,  when  their  experience  and 
valour,  spirit,  bearing,  and  splendour  of  equipment  are  considered, 
one  of  the  finest  regiments  that  ever  unfurled  its  banners  in  battle. 
In  itself  it  represented  many  other  corps ;  the  Bohemian  bands  of 
Sir  Andrew  Gray,  all  the  Scottish  regiments  of  Gustavus,  and  even 
the  Scottish  Archer  Guard  of  the  French  kings,  to  which  venerable 
body  many  of  its  officers  belonged."* 

The  new  regiment,  by  orders  of  the  King,  took  precedence  of  all 
others  in  the  service  of  France.  I  shall  mention  one  anecdote 
about  it. 

Frequent  quarrels  and  jealousies  took  place  between  Hepburn's 
officers  and  the  officers  of  a  French  regiment,  known  as  that  of 
Picardy.  The  Picardy  regiment  had  been  raised  in  the  year  1562, 
and  considered  itself  the  oldest  in  the  service  of  France.  But  Hep- 
burn's Regiment,  "  in  consequence  of  having  had  incorporated  with 
it  some  of  the  Scottish  Archer  Guard  (which  dated  its  origin  to  the 
period  of  the  eighth  crusade,  1249-1270),  considered  its  rights  to 
priority  to  be  indisputable.  This  claim  to  antiquity  the  regiment  of 
Picardy  treated  with  ridicule,  as  beiugsomewhat  overstrained, and  nick- 
named Hepburn's  corps  Pontius  Pilate's  Guards,  a  sobriquet  which 
the  First  Regiment  of  Foot  (the  Royal  Scots)  retains  at  the  present 
day.  On  one  occasion,  after  a  sharp  dispute,  one  of  Hepburn's  officers 
said  to  an  officer  of  the  regiment  of  Picardy,  "  You  must  be  mis- 
taken, Sir  ;  for  had  we  really  been  the  guards  of  Pontius  Pilate,  and 
done  duty  at  the  sepulchre,  the  Holy  Body  had  never  left  it !  " 
This  was  a  keen  and  a  sarcastic  retort,  implying  that  if  the  Scottish 
sentinels  had  been  there,  they  would  not  have  slept  at  their  posts, 
whereas  it  was  well  known  that  the  regiment  of  Picardy  had  been 
guilty  of  such  a  serious  military  offence,  t 

I  need  not  attempt  to  carry  the  story  of  Mackay's  Regiment 
further  ;  for,  reduced  to  a  single  company,  and  embodied  in  a  new 
and  mixed  regiment,  its  individual  characteristics  were  lost,  and 
as  a  separate  corps  it  ceased  to  exist.  But  the  services  of  the  Regi- 
ment are  matters  of  history. 

*  Memoirs  of  Sir  John  Hepburn, 
t  Hepburn's  Memoirs. 


182  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Munro  has  a  few  observations  about  it  which,  are  worthy  of 
consideration.  He  says,  the  discipline  and  service  of  the  Eegi- 
meut  were  of  so  high  a  character  that  many  that  were  trained  in  it 
rose  "  from  souldiers  to  be  inferiour  officers,  and  then  for  their 
preferments  and  advancements  "  they  left  their  old  leaders,  being 
promoted  to  other  regiments  ;*  "  for  having  attained  to  a  little 
experience  under  this  Regiment,  they  are  now  like  the  Eagles  birds, 
that  how  soon  they  can  but  flee,  they  take  command  on  themselves, 
and  that  most  worthily,  knowing  it  is  ambition  grounded  upon 
vertue,  makes  the  meanest  Souldier  mount  from  the  lowest  centrie 
[sentry]  to  the  top  of  honour  to  be  a  Generall :  as  some  of  our 
worthy  Countrimen  have  done  under  the  Crowne  of  Sweden,  to 
their  eternall  glory." 

Again,  he  says,  even  their  enemies  "  could  not  but  duely 
prayse  them,  calling  them  the  Invincible  old  Regiment 
so  that  Mackeyes  name  was  very  frequent  through  the  glorious 
fame  of  this  never  dying  Regiment,  never  wrong'd  by  fortune  in 
their  fame,  though  divers  times  by  their  enemies  valour  they  sus- 
tained both  losse  and  hurt :  But  would  to  God,  we  had  always  met 
man  to  man,  or  that  our  Army  had  consisted  all  of  such  men  and 
such  officers,  whereof  I  was  the  unworthiest  !  If  so  had  beene  our 
conquest  had  extended  so  farre  as  the  Romanes  of  old  did  extend 
the  limits  and  borders  of  their  Empire." 

Of  a  different  character  is  the  following  observation,  with  the 
closing  part  of  which,  I  am  sure,  all  military  commanders  will 
agree.  From  what  Munro  says,  it  will  be  seen  that  however 
severely  the  Kegiment  suffered  during  its  many  engagements,  yet, 
when  in  quarters,  officers  and  men,  as  a  rule,  were  very  comfortably 
off.  "  This  Kegiment  in  nine  yeeres  .  .  .  had  ever  good 
lucke  to  get  good  quarters,  where  they  did  get  much  good  wine, 
and  great  quantity  of  good  beere.  .  .  .  They  were  oft  merry 
with  the  fruits  and  juice  of  the  best  berries  that  grew  in  those 
Circles  ;  for  to  my  knowledge  they  never  suffered  either  penury  or 
want,  I  being  the  Leader,  but  of  times  I  did  complaine  and  grieve  at 
their  plenty,  seeing  they  were  better  to  be  commanded,  when  they 
dranke  water,  than  when  they  got  too  much  bee-re  or  wine." 

But  I  must  now  return  to  le  Regiment  d'  Hebron.     Hepburn 

*  Among  the  "  inferiour  officers  "  who  were  advanced  to  other  commands, 
Munro  mentions  "  Captaine  Cfunne,  Lievetenant  Brumfield,  Lievetenant  Dum- 
barre,  Lievetenant  Mackey,  Lievetenant  Southerland,  Ensigne  Denune,  and 
diverse  more,  which  were  preferred  under  Ruthven's  Regiment." 

Captain  Gunn  became  afterwards  Colonel  of  a  Dutch  Regiment,  and  was 
knighted  by  King  Charles  I.  for  his  bravery  at  the  Brig  of  Dee. 


Mackay's  Regiment  183 

unfortunately  did  not  live  to  command  it  long.  He  was  killed  at 
the  battle  of  Saverne,  on  the  21st  July,  1636.  His  fall  was  deeply 
regretted  by  the  whole  army  and  Court  of  France,  for  he  was  looked 
up  to  as  "  the  best  soldier  in  Christendom,  and  consequently  in  the 
world."  After  his  death,  the  Regiment  was  known  as  le  Regiment 
de  Douglas,  from  the  name  of  its  new  commander,  Lord  James 
Douglas. 

Though  serving  under  foreign  powers,  these  Scottish  soldiers 
of  fortune  were  yet  true  to  their  own  King  and  country.  Thus, 
in  1661,  on  the  call  of  King  Charles  the  Second,  after  the  Restora- 
tion, the  remains  of  what  had  been  Hepburn's  Regiment  came  over 
to  England.  They  remained  in  Britain  for  eight  years,  when  they 
returned  to  France,  and  continued  in  the  service  of  that  country 
till  1678,  when  they  were  again  called  home  and  incorporated  with 
the  British  Army.  They  are  now  known  as  the  ROYAL  SCOTS,  or 
First  Regiment  of  Foot,  and  take  precedence  of  all  other  regiments 
of  the  line.*  This  is  probably  the  oldest  regiment  in  the  world  ; 
for,  having  been  partly  formed  from  the  Scottish  Archers  in  the 
service  of  France,  it  may  be  said  to  have  been  embodied  for  up- 
wards of  six  hundred  years ;  and  it  certainly  is  one  of  the  most 
celebrated,  for  its  records  show  that  since  the  battle  of  Bauge,  in 
1421,  at  which  it  greatly  distinguished  itself  (being  then  the  body- 
guard of  the  King  of  France),  it  has  taken  part  in  228  battles  and 
sieges,  exclusive  of  the  later  wars  of  the  Crimea  and  India.  "  No 
other  regiment  in  the  world  can  show  such  a  roll  of  glory  !  "t 

I  have  thus  narrated  the  principal  services  in  which  the  Regi- 
ment was  engaged,  from  its  formation  by  Sir  Donald  Mackay,  the 
first  Lord  Rcay,  in  1626,  to  the  time  when  it  lost  its  identity  as  a 
separate  regiment,  in  1635,  by  becoming  a  portion  of  le  regiment  d' 
Hebron,  in  the  service  of  France.  I  have  also  shown  how  the 
successors  of  Hepburn's  veterans  became  incorporated  in  the  British 
army,  under  the  name  of  the  ROYAL  SCOTS  ;  and  that  the  survivors 
of  the  brave  men  who  formed  the  "  Old  Invincibles"  of  Gustavus 


*  A  portion  of  the  Scots  Guards  in  the  service  of  France,  were  sent  by  the 
King  of  that  country  to  Scotland,  in  1633,  to  be  present  at  the  coronation  of  King 
Charles  I.  They  remained  in  Britain  about  twelve  years,  when  they  returned  to 
France  "  and  continued  to  serve  there  with  little  interruption,  till  1678,  when 
they  finally  re-entered  the  British  service."  [Records  of  Royal  Scots.}  On  re- 
turning to  France,  these  soldiers  of  the  Scottish  Guards  were  incorporated  with 
Hepburn's  Regiment,  but  then  known,  however,  as  Douglas's,  from  the  name  of 
its  commander,  as  has  been  already  stated.  And  from  having  served  in  Scotland 
in  1633,  as  mentioned  above,  the  Royal  Scots  data  from  that  year  in  the  Army 
List. 

t  Cassell's  "  British  Battles." 


184  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Adolphus  (that  is  Mackay's  Highlanders)*  constituted  no  incon- 
siderable part  of  that  celebrated  regiment.  Their  whole  service  is 
a  record  of  which  any  nation  may  be  proud,  what  then  might  be 
said  when  their  equipment  was  the  work  of  one  individual  ? 

The  raising  and  transporting  of  so  many  men  cost  Lord  Eeay 
a  very  large  sum  of  money  ;  and,  unfortunately,  by  the  untimely 
death  of  the  King  of  Sweden,  he  was  not  re-imbursed  for  the  heavy 
outlay  he  had  incurred  in  his  service.  From  first  to  last  he  sent 
over  to  "  the  German  wars "  upwards  of  5000  men,  and  Munro 
says,  "  our  noble  Colonell  did  engage  his  estates,  and  adventured 
his  person  "  for  the  good  cause.  "  Such  was  his  sense  of  dignity, 
that,  it  is  said,  he  asked  no  money  from  the  King  to  furnish  his 
troops  till  after  their  arrival  in  Germany ;  and  as  the  King  was 
killed  soon  after  the  last  levies  were  sent,  Lord  Eeay  himself  had 
to  bear  the  loss  of  his  outlays ;  only  he  had  the  consolatory  reflec- 
tion that  his  loss  was  sustained  in  the  best  of  causes.  It  was  not 
with  a  sordid  view  of  gain  that  he  undertook  his  expeditions, 
for  there  was  nothing  sordid  in  his  composition  ;  .  .  .  . 
but  first  from  loyalty  .  .  .  and  love  of  honour ;  and  after- 
wards from  a  regard  to  the  protestant  religion,  which  he  had  pre- 
viously conceived  at  home,  and  in  Denmark,  "f 

To  meet  the  debts  he  had  thus  contracted,  he  was  obliged  to 
sell  his  lands  in  Eoss-shire  and  Caithness,  and,  saddest  of  all,  the 
district  of  Strathnaver.  But  there  was  no  other  way  by  which  he 
could  get  out  of  the  difficulty,  and  so  the  lands  had  to  go.  No 
one,  so  far  as  our  country  is  concerned,  did  more  for  the  cause  of 
liberty  than  the  first  Lord  Eeay,  and  no  clan  shed  more  of  its  best 
blood  in  the  same  cause  than  the  Clan  Mackav. 


OFFICERS   OF   MACKAY'S   REGIMENT. 

The  following  list  is  made  up  from  the  various  works  consulted 
in  compiling  the  foregoing  narrative,  and  consists  of  the  names  of 
officers  who  served  with  the  Eegiment  from  its  formation  in  1626, 
to  the  battle  of  Nordlingen  in  1634.  It  is,  however,  not  quite 
complete,  as  no  record  has  been  preserved  of  the  names  of  many 
of  the  junior  officers. 

*  The  author  of  the  Characteristics  of  the  Highland  Soldiers,  says  of  Mackay's 
Regiment,  while  serving  under  Gustavus  Adolphus,  "they  were  his  right  hand 
in  battle,  brought  forward  in  all  dangerous  enterprises  ;  and  they  may,  like  him- 
self, be  said  to  have  fallen  in  the  field,  and  to  have  been  buried  with  the  honours 
of  vi*.r."— History  of  the  House  and  Clan  of  Mackay. 

t  History  of  the  House  and  Clan  of  Mackay. 


Mackay's  Regiment  185 

Munro,  in  his  list  of  Scottish  Officers  that  sewed  under  Gustavus 
Adolphus,  gives  Field  Officers  only,  and  adds  :  "  Diverse  Captaines 
and  inferiour  Officers  of  the  Nation  followed  the  Army 
which  I  omit  out  of  the  List ;  "  while  most  others  who  have 
written  about  the  Scottish  Soldier  abroad,  have  been  contented 
with  giving  the  names  of  a  few  of  the  leadirg  officers  only. 

The  list  is  arranged  in  two  divisions.  The  first  contains  the 
names  of  those  officers  whose  rank  in  the  Eegiment  I  have  been 
able  to  ascertain, — the  second  those  whose  rank  I  have  not  been 
able  to  find  out ;  and  in  both  I  have  mentioned  the  rank  to  which 
a  number  of  the  officers  attained  after  quitting  the  Eegiment  and 
entering  on  other  service.  The  two  divisions  combined,  contain 
the  names  of  all  officers  who  served  in  the  Eegiment,  whose  names 
are  recorded,  so  far  as  I  have  been  able  to  discover. 

The  Eegiment  was  quite  a  Military  School.  Numbers  of  gentle- 
men, from  all  parts  of  the  country,  joined  it  as  junior  officers,  for 
the  purpose  of  learning  the  art  of  war  (and  some  also  indeed  served 
in  the  ranks)  ;  but  they  left  as  soon  as  they  believed  they  had 
acquired  sufficient  skill,  to  take  upon  themselves  the  responsibilities 
of  a  command.  This  accounts  for  so  many  names  which  are  foreign 
to  the  North  of  Scotland  being  found  in  the  list. 

Colonels. 

Sir  Donald  Mackay,  first  Lord  Eeay,  Scorched  by  powder  at  Olden- 
burg. 

Eobert  Monro  (author  of  the  Ex- 
pedition),       ....  Wounded  in  various  battles. 

Lieutenant  -  Colonels. 

Arthur  Forbes  (son  of  Lord  Forbes),  Died  in  Holstein. 

Alexander  Seton, Wounded  at  Oldenburg. 

John  Lindsay  of  Bainshaw,    .         .  Killed  at  New  Brandenburg. 
'  John  Sinclair  (son  of  the  Earl  of 

Caithness),     ....  Killed  at  Neumarke. 
William   Stewart   (brother    of   the 

Earl  of  Traquair),  .         .         .  Wounded  at  Oldenburg. 

Majors.* 

James  Dunbar,       ....  Killed  at  Bredenburg. 
John  Forbes  of  Tulloch,          .         .  Killed  at  Nordlingen. 

*  The  names,  beginning  with  the  Majors,  are  arranged  alphabetically,  and  not 
according  to  seniority. 


186  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness, 

Majors — (continued). 

John  Forbes,         ....  Afterwards  Colonel  of  Dutch. 

William  Keith,     .... 

David  Munro,        ....  Scorched  by  powder  at  Eckern- 

fiord. 

William  Sennott,  .         .         .  Died  of  the  Plague  at  Stettin. 

Francis   Sinclair  (son  of  James  of 

Murkle),         ....  Afterwards  a  Lieut. -Colonel. 
Wilson,         .... 

Captains. 

Annan,         .... 

Armiss,  ,  Wounded  at  Stralsund. 

Beatoun,        ....  Wounded  at  Stralsund. 

Boswell,        ....  Murdered  by    the    Boors    at 

Bremen. 
William  Bruntsfield,       .         .         .  Afterwards  Major  in  Ruthven's 

Regiment. 

Bullion,         .... 

Carmichael,  ....  Killed  at  Bredenburg. 

Dumaine,      ....  Died  at  Frankfort. 

Duncan,        .... 

Duncan  Forbes,     ....  Killed  at  Bredenburg. 

Adam  Gordon,       .... 

William  Gunn,      ....  Afterwards  Colonel  of  a  Dutch 

Regiment,  and  Knighted 

by  King  Charles  I. 
Alexander  Hay,     ....  Afterwards    Lieut. -Colonel   of 

Dragoons. 

George  Heatley,     ....  Killed  at  Oberlin. 
Robert  Hume,        .... 
Patrick  Innes,        ....  Killed  at  Nurnberg. 
Robert  Innes,         ....  Afterwards  a  Lieut.-Colonel. 
William  Kerr,        ....  Wounded  at  Eckernfiord. 
John  Learmonth  (brother  of  Lord 

Balcomy),       ....  Killed  at  Boitzenburg. 

Learmonth,  .... 

William  Lumsden  (the  sole  survivor 
of  the  Massacre  at  Bredenburg), 
Sir    Patrick   Mackay  of   Lairg,  in 

Galloway,       ....  Died   of  wounds  received   at 

Oldenburg. 


Mackay's  Regiment  187 

Captains — (continued). 

lye  Mackay  (son  of  William  of  Big- 
house,  ..... 

William  Mackay  (son  of  Donald  of 

Scoury),         ....  Afterwards   Lieut. -Colonel    of 

Swedes,    and     killed    at 
Lutzen. 

William  Mackay, 

Thomas  Mackenzie  (brother  of  Earl 

Seaforth),       ....  Wounded  at  Eckernfiord. 

Moncreiffe,    ....  Killed  at  New  Brandenburg. 

Andrew  Munro,     ....  Killed  in  a  duel  at  Femern. 

Hector  Munro  of  Fowlis,  who  suc- 
ceeded his  brother,  and  was 
made  a  Baronet,  .  .  .  Afterwards  a  Colonel  of  Dutch. 

John  Munro  of  Obisdell,         .         .  Afterwards  Colonel  of  a  Scots 

Regiment. 

John     Munro     (commonly     called 

Assynt  Munro),       .         .         .  Afterwards  a  Lieut. -Colonel. 

Robert  Munro  of  Fowlis,         .         .  Afterwards  Colonel  of  Swedes. 

Pomfrey,       .... 

Nicholas  Ross,       .... 

George  Stewart,     ....  Afterwards   Lieut. -Colonel    of 

Conway's  Regiment. 

Alexander  Tulloch, 

Trafford,       .... 

Lieutenants. 

Arthur  Arbuthnott,         .         .         .  Wounded  at  Stralsund. 

Barbour,        ....  Killed  at  Bredenburg. 

Brumfield,  ....  Promoted  in  Ruthven's  Regi- 
ment. 

D  unbar,  ....  Promoted  in  Ruthven's  Regi- 
ment. 

Keith,  ....  Killed  at  New  Brandenburg. 

James  Lyell,  ....  Afterwards  Captain  in  Ruth- 
ven's Regiment,  and  mur- 
dered in  Westphalia. 

Mackay,  ....  Promoted  in  Ruthven's  Regi- 
ment. 

David  Martin,        ....  Killed  at  Boitzenburg. 

Hugh  Ross,  of  Priesthill,        .         .  Wounded  at  Oldenburg. 


188  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness- 

Lieutenants — (continued). 

Andrew  Stewart  (brother  of  Earl  of 

Traquair),       .         .         .         .  Died   of  wounds  received  at 

Oldenburg. 
Eobert  Stewart,     ....  Afterwards  a  Colonel  of  Lums- 

den's  Pikemen. 
Sutherland,  ....  Promoted  in  Euthven's  Eegi- 

ment. 

Ensigns.  , 

Patrick  Dunbar,    ....  Wounded  at  Stralsund. 

Denoon,        ....  Promoted  in  Euthven's  Eegi- 

ment. 

Hadden,        ....  Killed  at  Kew  Brandenburg. 

John  Rhode,          .... 

Scaton,          ....  Killed  at  Stralsund. 

Officers  wliose  remit  is  not  recorded. 

Gavin  Allan,          .... 

Barrie,          .... 

Eobert  Farquhar,  ....  Afterwards  Knighted  by  King 

Charles  II. 

Arthur  Forbes,       .         .         ... 

Hugh  Gordon,        .         .         ...  Wounded  at  Oldenburg. 
John  Gordon,        ....  Afterwards  Colonel  of  Dutch. 
John  Gordon,         .         .     ,o4-Mi 

Graeme,        .... 

George  Gunn,         .         . 

John  Gunn,  .         .         .         . 

John    Innes    (son    of  William   of 

Sandside),      ....  Killed  at  Stralsund. 

Johnstone,    .... 

Henry  Lindesay,    .         .         .         .  Afterwards   Lieut. -Colonel    in 

Leslie's  Eegiment. 

Lindesay,      .... 

Eobert  Lumsden,   ....  Afterwards  Lieut.-Colonel. 

Hugh  Mackay,       .... 

David  Martin,        . 

Andrew  Munro,  .         .         .  Killed  at  Oldenburg. 

David  Munro,        .         .         .         .  Wounded  at  Oldenburg. 

Farquhar  Munro,   ....  Killed  at  Oldenburg. 


Celtic  Etymologies.  189 

Officers  whose  rank  is  not  recorded — (continued). 

Hugh  Mowatt,       .... 

Hugh  Murray,       .... 

Murdoch  Poison,    ....  Killed  at  Oldenburg. 

David   Ross   (son  of  Alexander  of 

Invercarron), 
Semple,         .... 

Chaplains. 
William  Forbes. 
Murdoch  Mackenzie,      .         .         .  Afterwards  Minister  of  Suddie, 

Ross-shire. 

And  the  Chaplain  or  "  Preacher"  who  was  slain  at  Bredenburg,  but 
whose  name  is  not  mentioned. 

28TH  MAY,  1879. 

At  this  meeting  Mr.  Lachlan  Macdonald  of  Skaebost,  Skye, 
was  elected  a  life  member ;  and  Mr.  F.  C.  Buchanan,  Armaclale 
Row,  Helensburgh,  and  Mr.  Donald  Ross,  M.A.,  H.M.  Inspector 
of  Schools,  ordinary  members. 

The  following  paper  by  Mr.  C.  S.  Jerram,  M.A.,  Windlesham, 
Surrey,  was  read  : — 

CELTIC  ETYMOLOGIES. 

The  science  by  which  the  laws  of  language  are  regulated  and 
recorded,  is  called  Comparative  Philology,  a  young  science  as  yet, 
but  one  that  is  making  rapid  progress.  It  has  been  popularised  in 
this  country  mainly  through  the  exertions  of  Professor  Max  Miiller, 
to  whose  Lectures  on  the  Science  of  Language  especially  I  shall 
have  occasion  to  refer.  The  three  great  '  families '  (as  they  are 
called)  of  human  speech,  are  known  as  the  Indo-European  or  Aryan, 
the  Semitic,  and  the  Turanian  ;  it  is  with  the  first  of  these  that  we  are 
now  concerned,  because  the  Celtic  languages  are  ascertained  to  belong 
to  it.  Of  the  six  or  eight  divisions  under  which  the  languages  of 
this  great  Aryan  family  have  been  arranged,  the  Celtic  is  further 
sub-divided  into  Cymric  and  Gaedhelic ;  the  former  division  com- 
prising Welsh,  Breton,  and  the  now  extinct  Cornish  ;  the  latter, 
Scotch  and  Irish  Gaelic,  and  the  dialect  of  the  Isle  of  Man.  The 
important  thing  to  bear  in  mind  respecting  all  these  Aryan  lan- 
guages is  that,  notwithstanding  the  differences  that  now  exist 
between  these  divers  groups,  and  even  between  various  languages 


1 90  Gaelic  Society  of  In  verness. 

of  the  same  group,  there  must  once  have  been  a  time,  when  (to 
quote  Max  Miiller's  words)  "there  was  a  small  class  of  Aryans, 
settled  probably  in  the  highest  elevation  of  Central  Asia,  speaking 
a  language,  not  yet  Sanscrit  or  Greek  or  German,  but  containing  the 
dialectic  germs  of  all ;  a  clan  that  had  advanced  to  a  state  of  agri- 
cultural civilization  ;  that  had  recognised  the  bonds  of  blood  and 
sanctioned  the  bonds  of  marriage  ;  and  that  invoked  the  Giver  of 
light  and  life  in  heaven  by  the  same  name  which  you  may  still 
hear  in  the  temples  of  Benares,  in  the  basilicas  of  Home,  and  in 
our  own  churches  and  cathedrals." 

A  great  step  was  made  towards  the  attainment  of  philological 
truth  when  people  began  to  recognise  well  regulated  families,  in- 
stead of  vaguely  defined  classes  or  groups  of  speech.  Much  time 
and  labour  had  previously  been  wasted  in  discussing  the  pretensions 
of  some  one  particular  language  to  be  the  primitive  speech  of  man- 
kind. Because  the  Book  containing  the  earliest  records  of  the 
human  race  was  written  in  Hebrew,  this  was  for  a  long  time  sup- 
posed to  be  the  oldest  language  in  the  world,  from  which  it  was 
sought  to  derive  all  the  rest.  But  as  Leibnitz,  one  of  the  first  op- 
ponents of  this  theory,  observes,  "to  call  Hebrew  the  primitive 
language  is  like  calling  branches  of  a  tree  primitive  branches,  or 
like  imagining  that  in  some  country  hewn  trunks  could  grow  in- 
stead of  trees."  Even  in  later,  and,  as  might  have  been  expected, 
more  enlightened  times,  the  same  notion  has  been  revived ;  and 
some  have  varied  it  so  far  as  to  substitute  Gaelic  or  Welsh  for 
Hebrew,  or  to  maintain  a  philological  relation  between  these  lan- 
guages and  the  Hebrew,  though  it  belongs  to  a  distinct  family — 
the  Semitic.  To  these  last  the  words  of  Professor  Ehys,  in  his 
Lectures  on  Welsh  Philology,  p.  142,  apply  with  some  force.  He 
says  : — "  Neither  do  literary  ostriches  of  this  class  deserve  to  be 
reasoned  with,  at  any  rate  until  they  have  taken  their  heads  out  of 
the  sand,  and  acquainted  themselves  with  the  history  of  the  philo- 
logical world  since  the  publication  of  Bopp's  Comparative  Grammar. 
It  would  in  all  probability  be  useless  to  tell  them  that  Welsh  has 
nothing  to  do  with  Hebrew  or  any  other  Semitic  tongue."  We  are 
not  here  dealing  with  the  question  of  the  original  common  origin 
of  all  languages,  nor  is  it  denied  that,  if  we  only  go  back  far  enough, 
even  all  the  three  families  of  speech  may  have  had  a  common 
source.  There  are  degrees  of  relationship  in  language  ;  nor  does  it 
follow  that  because  the  signs  of  affinity  are  not  now  apparent, 
therefore  no  such  affinity  ever  existed.  Only,  in  the  present  state 
of  our  knowledge,  we  must  not  go  to  a  Semitic  root  for  the  deriva- 
tion of  an  Aryan  word  ;  nor  even  if  we  happen  to  find  two  roots 


Celtic  Etymologies.  191 

similar  in  sound  and  sense,  but  belonging  to  different  families,  can 
we  assume  with  any  confidence  that  they  are  identical. 

Hence  we  may  lay  down  as  our  first  great  rule  this  : — Never 
trust  implicitly  any  derivation  which  confounds  the  three  fami- 
lies of  language,  or  any  two  of  them.  Such  a  derivation  might 
chance  to  be  correct ;  but  in  the  present  state  of  philological 
science  it  would  be  difficult,  if  not  impossible,  to  prove  it.  For  in- 
stance, if  I  want  to  find  the  cognates  of  the  Gaelic  words  fear 
1  man,'  each  '  horse,'  bo  ( cow,'  I  go  to  the  other  languages  of  the 
Aryan  family  ;  and  I  find  for  the  first  word  the  Sanscrit  mra, 
Latin  vir,  Gothic  vair,  Anglo.-Saxon  icer  ;  for  the  second,  Sanscrit 
akva,  old  Greek  ikkos  (afterwards  hippos],  Latin  equus ;  for  the 
third.  Greek  bovs,  Latin  bos,  Welsh  bu,  when  the  b  represents  an 
original  g,  appearing  in  the  Sanscrit  go,  and  as  Tc,  c,  in  the  High 
German  kuh,  and  our  cow.  Even  supposing  that  roots  or  vocables, 
similar  in  sound  and  meaning  to  the  above,  were  discoverable  in 
Hebrew  or  Chaldee,  I  would  not  rush  to  the  conclusion  that  these 
were  identical,  but  would  at  most  admit  the  possibility  of  their 
having  been  so  at  some  remote  and  probably  pre-historic  period. 
If  on  the  other  hand  it  were  desired  to  find  the  etymology  of  some 
distinctly  Hebrew  name  (Methuselah,  for  instance),  I  should  not  go 
(as  a  recent  writer  has  done)  to  Irish  Gaelic  for  a  solution,  but 
rather  seek  in  Hebrew  itself,  or  in  the  cognate  Semitic  tongues,  the 
origin  of  a  Semitic  word. 

Here  I  may  observe,  by  way  of  a  passing  caution,  that  it  is  im- 
portant in  every  case  to  ascertain  whether  the  word  under  investi 
gation  does  really  belong  to  the  language  in  which  it  appears,  or 
whether  it  has  been  imported  into  it  from  some  other  language, 
which  may  possibly  be  a  member  of  a  distinct  family.  Max 
Miiller  has  given  four  instances  from  the  Hebrew  Bible  of  words 
which  have  been  adopted  from  the  Sanscrit,  and  are  therefore 
Aryan,  not  Semitic  words.  These  are  Tcoph  '  apes'  (Sanscrit  kapi)  ; 
shen-habbim  '  ivory,'  the  latter  element  being  probably  a  corruption 
of  the  Sanscrit  ihha  '  elephant ; '  tuTchiim  '  peacocks,'  from  togei, 
derived  from  Sanscrit  'sikhin ;  and  almug  or  algum,  the  name  of  a 
tree,  from  Sanscrit  (v}alguka.  And  of  course  we  know  that  English, 
Gaelic,  and  in  fact  all  languages  more  or  less,  abound  in  terms  which 
are  not  so  much  derived  as  imported,  with  some  alterations  of  form, 
from  other  languages  all  over  the  world.  These  have  been  appro- 
priately called  '  loan-words,'  to  which  we  shall  have  occasion  to  refer 
more  particularly  hereafter. 

The  next  rule  is  this.     Attend  carefully  to  the  laws  which  regu- 
late the  sequence  of  sound  in  different  languages  of  the  same  family. 


192  Gaelic  Society  of  In  verness. 

In  the  Aryan  family  the  formulae  by  which  these  changes  are  regis- 
tered constitute  what  is  known  as  '  Grimm's  Law,'  from  the  name 
of  its  discoverer,  Jacob  Grimm.  Its  provisions  are  mainly  these. 
If  the  same  word  exists  in  Sanscrit,  Greek  and  Latin,  in  old  High 
German,  and  in  Low  German,  and  if  the  first-named  languages 
shew  a  soft  mute  (B,  G,  D),  the  High  German  will  have  an  aspir  te 
(F,  CH,  TH),  and  the  Low  German  a  hard  mute  (P,  K,  T). 
.Again,  if  Sanscrit,  &c.,  have  a  hard  mute,  High  German  will  have 
the  corresponding  soft  mute,  and  Low  German  the  corresponding 
aspirate;  and  lastly,  if  the  first  division  has  an  aspirate,  the 
second  will  have  a  hard,  and  the  third  a  soft  mute.  The  Celtic 
languages  fall,  as  a  rule,  under  the  first  division  with  Greek,  &c. 
Old  High  German  means  modern  literary  German  in  its  oldest 
forms  ;  and  English  belongs  to  the  Low  German  group  of  languages. 
This  law  (which  applies  chiefly  to  initial  consonants,  medial  ones 
being  liable  to  modification  from  surrounding  influences)  is  less 
simple  in  actual  operation  than  at  first  sight  appears  ;  owing  to  the 
fact  that  the  actual  consonants  I  have  named  do  not  always  occur, 
but  are  represented  by  others.  For  instance,  TH  in  High  German 
is  uniformly  represented  by  Z  ;  H,  both  in  Latin  and  German,  is 
found  to  stand  for  CH,  sometimes  for  F  or  V.  Three  or  four  illus- 
trations will  suffice  to  show  the  general  working  of  the  law.  The 
Latin  duo,  Gaelic  da,  Welsh  dwy,  is  the  High  German  zwei,  English 
two ;  the  Greek  thugater  is  in  German  TocMer,  in  English  daugh- 
ter ;  the  Latin  cor,  Gaelic  cridhe,  is  the  German  Herz,  English 
heart,  where  h  represents  g  and  ch  respectively.  Again,  we  have 
English  thou,  German  du,  Latin,  Greek,  and  Gaelic  tu,  and  "Welsh 
ti  ;  also  English  three,  German  drei,  Gaelic  and  Welsh  tri,  and  Latin 
ires.  Of  course  a  knowledge  of  the  history  of  a  word,  in  the  vari- 
ous forms  it  has  at  different  times  assumed,  is  necessary  before  we 
can  employ  Grimm's  Law  with  any  effect ;  I  am  now  insisting 
merely  on  the  importance  of  the  law  itself  in  all  questions  of 
Aryan  etymology.  Many  a  plausible  derivation,  when  tested  by 
it,  may  be  proved  to  be  impossible. 

In  speaking  of  "  derivation,"  we  must  not  forget  the  important 
distinction  between  derived  and  cognate  words.  The  former  are  of 
necessity  later  in  order  of  time  than  the  words  from  which  they 
come.  Such  are  French  and  Italian  words,  which  have  a  Latin 
origin  ;  these  languages  being  (to  return  to  the  "  families' "  meta- 
phor) daughters,  not  sisters,  of  the  Latin,  and  sisters  only  to  each 
other.  But  cognate  terms  are  like  elder  and  younger  sisters  in  a 
family,  and  do  not  represent  successive  generations.  All  that  I 
have  cited  as  instances  of  Grimm's  Law,  and  hundreds  more,  are 


Celtic  Etymologies.  193 

thus  cognate  ;  each  having  once  had  a  common  representative  term 
in  the  primitive  Aryan  speech,  before  its  dispersion.  And,  to  be- 
gin with,  we  must  put  all  these  languages  upon  an  equality,  as 
regards  age,  and  then  see  which  language  has  preserved  the  largest 
number  of  the  oldest  forms.  In  the  case  of  a  particular  word, 
sometimes  one  sometimes  another  of  these  languages  may  shew  the 
oldest  form ;  but  this  is  no  criterion  for  deciding  the  relative 
antiquity  either  of  a  given  language  as  a  whole,  or  of  other  words 
in  it.  This  is  a  mistake  which  people  often  make,  when  compar- 
ing cognate  languages  for  etymological  purposes.  They  think  that 
because  a  certain  language  (say  Sanscrit  or  Gaelic)  shews  generally 
signs  of  greater  age  than  another  (say  Greek  or  German),  therefore 
any  Sanscrit  or  Gaelic  word  must  be  older  than  the  corresponding 
Greek  or  German  word.  But  this  is  by  no  means  the  case  ;  if  it 
were,  the  science  of  Comparative  Philology  would  be  very  much 
simpler  than  it  is.  We  should  not  say,  for  instance,  that  as  regards 
the  bulk  of  its  vocabulary,  Latin  was  an  older  language  than  Greek ; 
yet  it  really  is  so,  since  it  contains  words  and  forms  of  inflexion 
which  have  disappeared  from  classical  Greek,  and  which  once 
existed  in  older  dialects  ;  some  even  that  are  not  found  in  the  old- 
est existing  dialects.  Thus  the  pronoun  tu  was  the  same  in  Doric 
Greek,  but  afterwards  became  su  ;  the  older  k  sound  in  kote  and 
lids  (afterwards  pote  and  pos)  is  preserved  in  the  Latin  quis,  qui, 
&c.,  the  a  still  retained  in  sex,  septem,  sedeo  has  been  softened  away 
to  a  mere  aspirate  in  the  Greek  hex,  hepta,  hedo.  Again,  although 
the  Celtic  languages  as  a  whole  shew  undoubted  signs  of  antiquity, 
when  compared  with  others  of  the  Aryan  family,  the  evidence  of  par- 
ticular words  points  as  clearly  in  the  opposite  direction.  The 
Latin  piscis,  English  fish,  according  to  Grimm's  Law,  appears  in 
Gaelic  as  iasy,  in  which  the  original  consonant  has  entirely  dis- 
appeared. Here  then  the  Gaelic  form  is  later,  not  only  than  the 
Latin,  but  even  than  the  English.  According  to  Zeuss'  Grammatica 
Celtica,  the  Irish  prefix  iol  '  many '  is  neither  more  nor  less  than 
the  Greek  poly,  and  the  German  viel,  and  is  therefore  an  instance 
of  the  same  phenomenon.  These  however  are  exceptional  cases. 
One  great  proof  of  the  comparative  antiquity  of  Gaelic,  is  that  so 
many  of  its  vocables  retain  their  original  k  sound,  which  in  other 
languages  (even  in  the  Welsh)  has  degenerated  to  qu,  p,  f,  or  still 
further  to  t.  The  hard  k  sound  requires  the  strongest  effort  to 
pronounce  it  distinctly  ;  hence  there  is  a  tendency,  first  to  ease 
the  articulation  by  the  addition  of  u  (  =  w)  as  in  qui,  quando,  and 
other  Latin  words ;  secondly,  to  labialise  it  to  p ;  or  thirdly,  to 
let  it  degenerate  to  t,  which  is  called  '  dentalism.'  Professor  Geddes, 

13 


194  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

in  his  Lecture  on  the  Philologic  Uses  of  the  Celtic  Tongue,  gives 
the  following  instances  among  others.  Gaelic  cas,  Latin  pes,  Greek 
pous,  English  foot.  Gaelic  ceithir,  Latin  quatuor,  Greek  pisures 
(afterwards  tessares),  Welsh  pedwar,  English  four.  Gaelic  co, 
Latin  quis,  Welsh  pa,  Greek  tis.  Gaelic  casad,  English  cough, 
Welsh  pas,  Greek  bex,  Latin  tussis.  "  Nay,"  adds  the  Professor, 
"  such  is  the  fondness  of  Gaelic  for  the  k  sound,  that  it  has  intro- 
duced it  into  words  where  it  had  no  proper  business  from  the  first, 
and  when  even  Sanscrit  and  Latin  refuse  to  follow  it."  He  in- 
stances Pascha  and  Pentecost,  by  the  side  of  Casg  and  Caingis  ; 
also  purpura  and  poena,  which  the  Gaelic  has  turned  into  corcor 
and  cain. 

But  it  is  not  in  words  or  roots  alone  that  the  evidence  of  com- 
mon origin,  or  the  affinity  of  one  language  to  another,  is  to  be 
sought.  Grammatical  inflections  are  a  far  surer  test,  and  the  gram- 
mar, not  the  dictionary,  must  be  our  guide  in  classification.  The 
Gaelic  dative  plural  in  -ibh  would  alone  shew  the  affinity  of  the 
language  with  Latin  and  Greek,  when  compared  with  forms  like 
tibi  and  sibi,  the  terminations  in  -ibus,  and  the  old  Homeric  datives 
such  as  kratere-phi,  bie-phi,  oches-phi,  &c.  By  the  same  rule 
English  must  always  rank  as  a  Teutonic  language,  whatever  may 
be  the  number  of  words  it  has  borrowed  from  foreign  sources.  It 
shews  its  relationship  with  German,  for  instance,  by  the  -s  of  its 
genitive  case,  by  its  -n  plurals,  by  its  past  participles  and  old 
infinitives  in  -en  and  -an,  by  its  forms  of  comparison  in  -er  and  -est. 
And  it  is  the  same  with  all  other  languages,  if  we  apply  the  test 
of  grammar  alone.  But  when  we  go  to  the  vocabulary  of  a  language, 
we  find  a  different  state  of  things  altogether.  Take  an  English 
dictionary,  and  see  how  many  terms  have  been  imported  up  to  the 
present  time.  Not  to  mention  Latin  and  French  derivations,  which 
now  constitute  the  bulk  of  our  language,  we  have  a  number  of  words 
in  common  use,  that  have  come  to  us  from  almost  every  country 
in  the  world.  The  Chinese  has  given  us  tea,  from  Arabic  we  get 
coffee,  sugar,  syrup,  amber,  saffron,  almanack,  and  many  more  ; 
from  Persian  bazaar,  caravan,  lilac,  scarlet,  and  azure  ;  from  Turk- 
ish tulip  and  turban.  The  western  world  has  supplied  us  with 
tobacco,  maiz^,  potato,  chocolate,  &c.  ;  from  Spain  and  Italy  we 
derive  negro,  mosquito,  bandit,  alligator,  gazette.  We  are  also 
indebted  to  the  Celtic  language  for  many  familiar  terms  ;  to  the 
Welsh  for  basket,  funnel,  flannel,  garter,  gown,  button,  mop,  pail, 
pitcher,  &c. ;  to  the  Gaelic  for  reel,  tartan,  plaid,  bard,  clan,  and 
others  now  more  or  less  naturalised  in  English  speech.  A  Gaelic 
dictionary  abounds  in  words  similarly  imported,  'loan-words,' as 


Celtic  Etymologies.  195 

we  have  called  them.  This  would  actually  be  the  case,  when  the 
language  of  a  primitive  people  comes  to  be  adopted  to  modern  re- 
quirements. To  this  class  belong  official  terms,  military,  civil,  and 
ecclesiastical,  as  cbirneal,  maidsear,  caiptein,  reisimeid  ;  parlamaid, 
pri'onnsa,  pobull,  prwsan  ;  sagart,  eaglais,  easbuig,  deireach  ;  besides 
a  host  of  common  words  of  every-day  life,  which  could  have  had 
no  Gaelic  equivalents  at  a  time  when  the  things  themselves  were 
unknown  to  a  Gaelic  speaking  people.  Such  are  piob  (now,  but 
not  always,  the  national  instrument  of  Highland  music),  punnd, 
peigldnn,  peabar,  sgoil,  sgri.oUur,  seomhar,  peanas,  peann,  pearsa, 
peula,  picill,  pioc,  ughdair,  ceinneag,  uinnean,  &c.,  picked  almost  at 
random  out  of  the  Gaelic  dictionary.  It  will  be  noticed  how  many 
of  these  words  begin  with  the  letter  P  ;  this  is  in  accordance  with 
the  above  mentioned  tendency  of  Gaelic,  to  discard  the  labial  or 
P  sounds  in  favour  of  the  guttural  or  K  sounds.  I  may  observe 
by  the  way,  that  besides  the  word  corcor,  which  I  cited  from 
Professor  Geddes'  Lecture,  as  an  instance  of  this  tendency,  the 
Gaelic  also  has  purpur,  the  stem  of  the  Latin  purpura,  without 
alteration.  Occasionally  we  find  '  loan-words '  so  far  transformed, 
as  to  present  the  appearance  of  genuine  Gaelic  vocables  ;  as  senna- 
lair,  which  is  general  in  disguise,  but  looks  like  a  compound  of  sean 
'  old.'  Seanadh  for  senate  is  a  similar  instance  ;  but  here  the  fact 
of  sean  being  really  cognate  with  the  Latin  root  sen  in  sen-ex,  &c., 
increases  the  deception.  It  would  be  difficult  to  account  for  the 
peculiar  form  buntata  '  potato,'  except  as  owing  to  the  influence  of 
bun  '  root,'  whether  the  rest  of  the  word  be  from  taghta  l  choice  ' 
(as  has  been  asserted),  or  not.  At  any  rate  the  Gaelic  form  (omit- 
ting the  n)  comes  nearer  to  the  original  batata,  than  potato  does. 
But  in  the  form  '  buutata '  (on  the  above  hypothesis)  we  have  an 
instance  of  that  universal  tendency  to  give  an  intelligible  sense  to 
a  word  of  foreign  inhabitation,  and  make  it  speak,  as  it  were,  to 
some  eifect  in  its  new  domicile.  It  is  in  fact  the  same  impulse 
which  led  English  sailors  to  transform  Bellerophon  into  '  Billy 
Ruffian,'  and  Hirondelle  into  '  Iron  iJevil,'  and  according  to  which 
a  certain  groom  is  said  to  have  turned  the  names  of  a  horse  and  a 
mare,  Othello  and  Desdemona,  into  '  Old  Fellow  '  and  '  Thursday 
Morning.' 

The  Welsh  language,  as  well  as  the  Gaelic,  contains  a  large 
number  of  these  '  loan  words,'  of  various  dates  and  from  various 
sources.  I  will  quote  only  a  few,  as  esgob  from  epincoptis,  clerig 
from  clericus,  abad  from  abbas,  pris  '  price,'  ffafr  '  favour,'  top 
'top,'  tasg  '  task,'  cnol  '  knoll,'  cnwb  '  knob,'  ffermwr  l  farmer,' 
foiled  '  folly,'  ffwrnais  'furnace;'  also  many  beginning  with  >ja 


196  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness, 

representing  the  Latin  s  followed  by  a  consonant,  as  yslryd  from 
spiritus,  ysgol  from  schola,  ysgrif  from  scribere.  Some  of  these  (as 
ffermiur,  ffwrnais,  &c.)  are  mere  transliterations  into  Welsh  spelling, 
so  as  to  preserve  the  sound  as  nearly  as  possible  ;  just  as  later  Greek 
historians  transformed  the  Eoman  names  Vitellius,  Quartus,  &c., 
in  Ouitellios,  Kouartos,  &c. 

In  speaking  of  the  principal  divisions  of  the  Aryan  family,  at 
the  beginning  of  this  paper,  I  mentioned  the  Manx  language  as  one  of 
the  Celtic  group,  and  cognate  with  Gaelic.  Philologically  Manx  is 
of  less  importance  than  either  Gaelic  or  Welsh ;  first,  because  it 
contains  a  much  larger  proportion  of  foreign  importations,  chiefly 
from  the  Norse  and  other  Scandinavian  languages ;  and,  secondly, 
because  the  etymology  of  its  vocables  is  obscured,  to  the  eye  at 
least,  by  the  phonetic  system  of  orthography  which  it  has  for  a 
long  time  adopted.  Uncertainty  as  to  the  right  spelling  of  a  word 
is  a  fertile  source  of  etymological  confusion.  This  appears  in  the 
constant,  and  often  fruitless,  controversy  that  goes  on  about  the 
derivation  of  place-names  ia  Scotland  and  elsewhere.  Could  we  be 
sure,  for  instance,  what  was  the  original  Gaelic  form  of  Glasgow, 
we  should  know  whether  it  came  from  Glas-gobha  '  the  white  or 
grey  smith,'  or  from  Clais-dhu  '  the  dark  ravine,'  or  from  Eaglais- 
dliu  '  the  black  church,'  or  something  quite  different  from  these. 
Or  does  the  name  of  the  Highland  capital  really  mean  '  cascade- 
river-confluence'  (Inbhir-an-eas),  as  Colonel  Eobertson  would  have  us 
believe  ]  The  Anglicised  form  Ness  does  not  help  us  at  all  to 
decide  the  question.  So  in  Manx,  who  would  recognise  the  icritten 
words  Ree,  Chiran,  Oilly-niartal  as  righ,  Tighearn,  uille-neartail, 
with  which  they  really  correspond  1  Yet  that  Manx  is  cognate, 
almost  identical,  with  Gaelic  will  readily  appear.  Let  us  take  as  a 
specimen  for  comparison  part  of  the  Lord's  Prayer,  which  runs 
thus  in  Manx — "  Ayr  ain  t'  ayns  niau ;  casherick  dy  row  t'  ennym. 
Dy  jig  dty  reeriaght.  Dt'  aigney  dy  row  jeant  er  y  thalloo,  myr  ti 
ayns  niau.  Cur  dooin  nyn  arran  jiu  as  gagh  laa.  As  leih  doom 
nyn  loglityn,  myr  ta  shin  leih  dauesyn  ta  jannoo  loghtyn  nyn  'oi." 
In  this  extract  the  italicised  words  represent  in  order  the  Gaelic 
athair,  neamh,  coisrigte,  ainm,  thig,  rwghachd,  deanta,  talamh, 
cuir,  duinn,  aran,  diugh,  gach  Id,  lochd,  sin,  deanamh.  If 
besides  these  aigney  and  leih  represent  gean  and  leig  respectively 
(as  seems  probable),  every  important  part  of  speech  will  have  its 
equivalent  form  in  Gaelic ;  and  not  only  these  but  smaller  words, 
such  as  ayns  (anns),  dy  (do),  as  (agus),  &c.,  are  similarly  repre- 
sented. Hence,  for  purely  philological  purposes,  Gaelic  vocables 
are  in  most  cases  amply  sufficient  to  work  with. 


Celtic  Etymologies.  197 

In  the  foregoing  examples,  selected  from  the  principal  languages 
of  the  Celtic  group,  I  have  endeavoured  to  illustrate  the  important 
distinction  between  cognate  and  derived  (or  berroiced)  words.  The 
latter,  when  stripped  of  the  disguises  they  often  wear,  are  compara- 
tively easy  to  detect ;  the  former  may  tax  the  philologer's  utmost 
resources  for  their  identification,  and  in  the  present  state  of  the 
science  there  must  often  be  room  for  doubt.  It  is  to  these  that 
the  rules  and  formulae  of  '  Grimm's  Law '  apply,  nor  can  we  reach 
any  certain  conclusions  in  etymology,  if  we  neglect  the  study  of 
'  sound-lore,'  and  of  the  history  and  chronology  of  the  words  we 
are  investigating. 

My  third  and  last  rule  is  not  so  much  a  distinct  principle,  as  a 
necessary  consequence  of  the  preceding  considerations.  It  is,  how- 
ever, important  enough  in  itself  to  be  stated  separately  thus — 
Never  trust  mere  similarity  in  the  sound  or  form  of  words,  unless 
the  connexion  between  them  can  be  historically  supported.  The  dis- 
regard of  this  rule  has  always  been  a  fertile  source  of  error  to  the 
etymologist.  It  seems  so  very  simple,  when  we  find  two  words 
very  much  alike  in  form,  and  perhaps  in  sense  also,  to  conclude  that 
they  have  a  common  origin  or  derivation ;  whereas  this  is  often 
far  from  being  the  case.  Such  an  assumed  connexion  is  at  best  a 
mere  guess,  quite  as  likely  to  be  wrong  as  right ;  and  even  if  acci- 
dentally right,  it  is  of  no  scientific  value,  till  it  has  been  proved  by 
the  proper  tests.  Before  such  a  science  as  Comparative  Philology 
existed,  there  was  no  other  way  of  going  to  work.  Thus  the 
ancients,  ignorant  of  the  history  of  their  own  language,  suggested 
most  absurd  derivations  ;  such  as  Apollo,  from  the  negative  prefix 
a  and  polus  '  many ',  because  there  was  only  one  sun  in  the 
universe  ;  or  ao,  '  I  breathe,'  from  its  component  letters  Alpha  and 
Omega,  because  breathing  is  the  first  and  last  operation  of  our 
lives  !  Others  were  given,  which,  if  not  positively  absurd,  yet  can- 
not be  proved  correct,  as  coslum  from  koilon,  a  hollow  vault ; 
calamitas  from  calamus,  '  a  stalk,'  as  if  it  were  originally  a  disease 
of  corn,  &c.,  &c.  What  is  more  plausible  than  to  connect  call 
with  the  Greek  kal-eo,  with  which  it  is  identical  in  sense  and  sound  1 
But  in  fact  these  two  words  are  too  much  alike  to  admit  of  the  con- 
nexion, since  by  Grimm's  law,  a  Low  German  (English)  c  or  k 
must  have  a  corresponding  g  in  Greek,  and  the  real  Greek  cognates 
of  call  are  (by  variation  of  the  liquids  I  and  r),  ger-us  '  a  voice,'  and 
geruein  '  to  cry.'  On  the  other  hand,  to  take  an  instance  of  deri- 
vation, who  would  suspect  the  French  yeux  to  be  a  lineal  descendant 
of  the  Latin  oculus,  with  which  it  has  not  a  single*  letter  in  common  ? 

*  The  u  in  yeux  is  not  the  u  in  oculus.  The  latter  (see  above)  was  dropped 
out,  the  former  is  the  regular  representative  of  the  Latin  o. 


198  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

And  yet  every  step  in  the  process  can  be  traced  with  certainty. 
Thus,  ocuhis  became  oclus,  whence  old  French  oil,  euil,  ieul.  The 
plural  was  ieuls,  then  (by  dropping  the  1)  ieiis  or  yens,  of  which 
yeux  is  merely  a  variation.  These  two  instances  will  serve  as  well 
as  a  hundred,  and  shew  the  danger  of  resting  any  etymological 
argument  upon  sound  or  form  alone. 

Few  languages  have  suffered  as  much  as  the  Gaelic  at  the  hands 
of  imperfect  or  incompetent  etymologists.  Though  it  may  seem 
paradoxical  to  say  so,  I  think  that  the  wide-spread  interest  in  the 
subject,  among  Gaelic-speaking  people,  has  largely  contributed  to 
this  result.  "  It  is  astonishing,"  says  Dr.  MacLauchlan,  in  his 
Celtic  Gleanings  (p.  128),  "  how  much  time  a  gathering  of  High- 
landers will  spend  in  discussing  the  etymology  of  a  name.  It  is 
generally  thought  that  for  this  kind  of  study  any  man  possessing 
ordinary  knowledge  of  the  Gaelic  language  is  amply  qualified,  and 
that  a  little  twisting  or  untwisting  of  words,  which  any  man  can 
accomplish,  is  all  that  is  necessary  to  bring  forth  a  satisfactory 
result."  What,  for  instance,  are  we  to  think  of  such  derivations 
as  these,  which  have  been  gravely  put  forward  in  an  elaborate  work 
on  the  Gaelic  Etymology  of  the  Languages  of  Western  Europe  ? 
Obelisk  from  ob  '  serpent '  and  leigh  (leac  ?)  '  stone  ; '  potato  from 
bim  taghta  l  choice  root ;'  general  from  seanfhaireil  '  watchful  old 
man  ;'  Paradise  from  beure  (?)  deise  (deiseil  ?)  '  southward  garden  ;' 
canopy  from  ceann-bhrat  l  head-covering  ; '  and  last  (but  not  least) 
Hyde  Park  from  ait  pair  c  'joyful  enclosure  !  ! '  Taking  the  above 
in  order,  except  the  last,  which  is  unworthy  of  serious  notice,  we 
find  (1)  Obelisk,  a  pure  Greek  word  obeliskos,  a  diminutive  of  obelos 
1  a  spit,'  hence  applied  to  a  pointed  pillar — (2)  Potato,  a  West 
Indian  word,  the  Gaelic  form  of  which,  buntata,  I  have  already 
noticed  as  probably  owing  to  the  influence  of  bun  '  a  root,'  but  in 
no  sense  derived  from  it — (3)  General,  from  the  Latin  generalis, 
the  adjective  of  genus,  '  belonging  to  a  class  ; '  hence  the  head  of 
a  class,  or  chief  part  of  anything,  as  of  an  army — (4)  Paradise,  from 
paradeisos,  the  Greek  form  of  an  original  Persian  word  meaning  a 
park  or  pleasure  ground — (5)  Canopy,  from  French  canape,  was  in 
old  French  conope,  a  direct  derivation  of  conopeum,  Greek  konopeion, 
( a  mosquito-curtain,'  from  honops  '  a  gnat '  or  '  mosquito.'  Again, 
there  is  no  possible  doubt  as  to  the  derivation  of  careme  '  Lent ' 
(old  French  caresme)  from  quadragesima,  which  conveys  its  own 
meaning  with  it ; — what  need  then  to  go  to  Gaelic  for  such  a  far- 
fetched explanation  as  cathreim,  "  order  of  battle  against  the  lusts 
of  the  flesh  V  I  am  told  that  the  book  abounds  in  similar  absurdi- 
ties, though  I  cannot  vouch  for  the  fact  from  personal  observation. 


Celtic  Etymologies.  199 

I  am  compelled  to  notice  them  in  a  paper  as  '  Celtic  Etymologies,' 
not,  I  am  sure,  in  a  spirit  of  hostility  to  the  author  (for  whom  I 
entertain  sincere  respect  on  account  of  the  good  work  he  has  done 
in  other  fields  of  literature),  but  because  I  feel  that  such  wild 
theories  as  these,  if  widely  promulgated,  must  only  bring  contempt 
upon  Celtic  studies  generally,  and  alienate  real  scholars,  who  might 
otherwise  be  disposed  to  lend  a  helping  hand.  Many  people  are 
only  too  ready  to  ridicule  all  attempts  that  are  made  in  this  direc- 
tion, and  I  regard  it  as  most  unfortunate  that  really  vulnerable 
points  should  have  been  exposed  at  the  present  time  by  any  who 
have  Celtic  interests  at  heart,  and  who  are  foremost  in  their 
endeavours  to  promote  them. 

It  is  a  pleasure  to  turn  to  another  part  of  the  same  author's 
work,  in  which  he  traces  many  of  our  slang  and  cant  expressions  to 
a  Celtic  source.  Many  of  these  are  doubtless  very  odd,  and  may 
be  supposed  to  date  from  a  period  preceding  that  of  the  various 
Teutonic  immigrations  into  these  islands.  Twig,  for  instance,  in 
the  sense  of  '  understand,'  may  without  any  forcing  be  referred  to 
the  Gaelic  tuig,  until  historical  evidence  be  produced  to  the  con- 
trary. Balderdash  is  surely  identical  with  the  Welsh  baldorddus, 
1  idle  prattle,'  though  this  word  has  also  its  cognates  in  the  Dutch, 
Flemish,  and  other  Teutonic  languages.  This  is  a  mine  which  is 
altogether  worth  working,  and  I  should  be  glad  to  see  it  completely 
and  satisfactorily  done  by  some  competent  scholar.  From  the 
same  hand  appeared  an  interesting  paper  in  the  Celtic  Magazine 
for  December,  1875,  the  object  of  which  was  to  trace  many  of 
the  choruses  and  refrains  of  popular  songs  to  a  Celtic  and 
Druidical  origin.  Though  it  may  be  impossible  at  this  distance 
of  time  to  furnish  strictly  historical  and  chronological  proof  of 
the  alleged  facts,  there  is  still  a  high  degree  of  probability,  based 
on  the  remote  antiquity  of  the  Druids  in  many  parts  of  Europe, 
and  their  known  custom  of  "  marching  round  the  inner  circle  of 
their  rude  temples,  chanting  hymns  in  honour  of  the  sunrise,  the 
noon,  and  the  sunset ;  hymns  which  have  not  been  wholly  lost  to 
posterity,  though  posterity  has  failed  to  understand  them."  Such 
refrains,  for  instance,  as  Lillibulero,  Down  deri^y  down,  Trimgotrix, 
La  farira  donde,  &c.,  do  seem  to  be  something  "  more  than  mere 
nonsense  words  that  went  glibly  off  the  tongue,"  though  few  will 
see  the  necessity  of  referring  simpler  ones  like  tra  la  la,  rum  te 
turn,  &c.,  to  a  more  recondite  origin.  These  are  mere  combinations 
of  consonants  and  melodious  vowels,  which  any  one  trying  to  sing 
a  tune  without  words  would  naturally  produce.  For  the  examples 
themselves  (especially  bullen  a  la  =  buille  na  la  '  stroke  or  dawn  of 
day'),  I  must  refer  you  to  the  paper  in  the  Celtic  Magazine. 


200  x-  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

An  attempt  has  also  been  made  to  derive  names  in  classical 
mythology  from  Celtic  originals.  Many  of  these  may  certainly  have 
cognate  Celtic  forms ;  but  cognation  and  derivation  are  two  very 
different  things,  as  I  have  already  explained.  Some  apparently 
Greek  names  are  foreign  words  in  a.  Greek  dress,  as  Apollo,  Hera, 
Hermes,  and  possibly  Aphrodite.  This  last  may  be  an  instance  of 
an  original  form  (probably  Phoenician),  varied  so  as  to  give  it  a 
meaning  in  Greek,  as  if  from  aphros  '  foam  '  ;  but  -it  is  likely  that 
the  legend  of  the  '  foam-born  goddess '  is  posterior  to  the  name 
Aphrodite ;  at  least  it  is  not  found  in  Homer.  So  the  form  of  the 
name  Apollo  points  to  the  meaning  '  Destroyer,'  from  apollumi 
'  I  destroy  j'  but  its  real  derivation  is  uncertain.  Xow  if  in  any 
such  case  a  cognate  root  be  found  to  exist  in  Gaelic,  it  is  well  to 
note  the  .fact,  but  it  will  not  do  to  assume  without  proof,  that  the 
Gaelic  is  the  original  or  the  oldest  form.  For  instance  the  termi- 
nation -taur  in  centaur  is  unquestionably  related  to  the  Gaelic 
tarbh  and  the  Welsh  tarw  '  a  bull,'  and  Ur-dnus  (Greek  ourdnos}, 
if  it  be  rightly  referred  to  the  root  or,  in  the  verb  ornumai  '  I  rise,' 
may  have  a  cognate  root  in  the  Gaelic  ur  '  early,'  not  to  mention 
other  instances  of  the  same  kind.  But  when  you  take  a  plain 
Greek  participial  form  like  Harpuiai,  or  Greek  substantives  like 
Chaos  '  a  void  space,'  or  Penelope  from  penos  '  a  web,'  or  Zephyrus 
from  zoplios  '  the  dark  (western)  land,'  and  refer  these  to  a  Celtic 
origin,  you  go  against  established  historical  facts,  about  which  there 
is  not  the  slightest  room  for  doubt.  The  most  reprehensible  feature 
in  these  theories  is,  that  their  authors  wilfully  abandon  certainties 
for  speculations,  which  need  never  have  been  made  at  all.  In  a 
case  of  doubtful  etymologies,  the  possibility  of  a  given  word  being 
derived  from  a  Celtic  source  should  by  all  means  be  taken  into 
account,  and  properly  investigated ;  but  when  the  fact  is  well 
known,  and  has  been  already  settled  beyond  dispute,  it  is  hard 
to  see  what  can  be  the  object  of  re-opening  the  question  at  a  later 
time  of  day.  Such  theories  neither  deserve  discussion  nor  demand 
respect,  since  they  are  not  even  professedly  founded  on  any 
scientific  basis  ;  rather  they  assert  themselves  in  defiance  of  ascer- 
tained principles  and  laws.  The  process  is  something  of  the  fol- 
lowing kind — Given  a  number  of  words,  which  you  believe,  or 
desire  to  make  out,  to  be  of  Celtic  origin,  take  a  Gaelic  dictionary 
and  select  words,  or  combinations  of  words,  as  similar  as  possible 
in  sound  to  those  under  investigation,  and  draw  your  conclusions 
accordingly.  A  little  ingenuity  is  then  all  that  will  be  required  to 
establish  the  connexion  of  meaning,  and  the  operation  is  completed. 

I  will  conclude  with  a  few  miscellaneous  examples  of  erroneous 


Celtic  Etymologies.  201 

derivations  from  the  Gaelic,  which  I  have  noted,  at  different  times, 
in  various  publications.  I  shall  not  name  the  authors ;  indeed  they 
are  for  the  most  part  unknown  to  me. 

1.  MiorWieul  '  miracle '  has  been  said  to  be  compounded  of  meur 
and  Bel,  i.e.  '  God's  finger ! '     To  say  nothing  of  the  unwarrantable 
identification  of  the  Phrenician  Bel  or  Baal  with  the  true  God,  the 
word  is  obviously  a  loan  word  from  the  Latin  mirabilis,  like  sagart 
from  sacerdos,  deiscobul  from  discipulus,  oifeag  from  officium,  and 
many  more. 

2.  Senator  from  sean  athair  'old  father.'   Here  the  first  syllable 
sen  is  of  course  cognate  with  sean,  and  the  Welsh  hen  '  old,'  but  the 
remainder  of  the  word  is  a  Latin  verbal  noun  ending,  and  can  have 
nothing  to  do  with  athair. 

3.  Text  from  teagasg  '  teaching.'      It  is  from  the  Latin  textus 
1  woven,'  and  meant  first  '  woven  substance '  (as  of  cloth) ;  then  the 
'  substance '  of  a  book,  as  distinguished  from  the  notes ;  and  lastly 
was  applied  to  the  words  of  the  Bible  itself  as  contrasted  with  the 
commentary  thereon,  especially  a  small  detached  portion  serving  as 
the  theme  for  a  discourse  ;  whereas  teagasg  is  either  a  late  word  de- 
rived from  teach,  or  else  related  in  the  usual  way  to  the  Greek 
di-dask-o  and  the  Latin  doceo. 

4.  The  new  fashionable  term  rink  has  been  referred  to  the 
Gaelic  rinceadh  '  dancing.'     This  is  at  first  sight  plausible,  but  the 
history  of  the  word  seems  to  be  against  it.     Rink,  in  various  forms, 
is  found  in  nearly  all  Teutonic  languages.     It  first  meant  '  striving ' 
or  '  contention ; '  hence  the  ring  or  arena  of  battle.     Thus  Gawin 
Douglas,  the  old  Scottish  translator  of  Virgil  has  the  line — 

'  They  wan  (came)  near  to  the  renkin  end,' 

i.e.  the  end  of  the  course.  The  word  rink  appears  to  have  been 
taken  to  Canada  by  Scotch  emigrants  along  with  the  game  of 
curling,  and  to  have  been  afterwards  used  of  skating  also ;  it 
originally  meant  not  a  dance,  but  a  floor  or  arena,  which  might  be 
used  for  dancing  or  other  similar  purposes. 

5.  Demesne  from  demeas-ne  'not  of  assessment' (?),  i.e.,  land 
free  from  tax,  doomsday  from  do-meas-deigh   '  enquiry  of  assess- 
ment' (?),  and  alderman  from  ildor-man  'the  chief  person  at  the 
great  gate'  (]).    Of  these  I  confess  myself  unable  to  make  anything 
at  all,  but  they  appeared  in  a  book  published  at  Liverpool  some 
three  years  ago.     The  Saturday  Review,  in  its  critique  upon  this 
work,  made  some  general  observations  on  the  popular  state  of  mind 
with  regard  to  philology,  which  are  well  worth  quoting.     "  Why," 
they  ask,   "  is   an  absurdity  in   physical   science   so   much   more 


'20'2  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

generally  recognised  as  such,  than  an  absurdity  in  history  or  philo  - 
logy  1  There  is  this  difference  in  the  position  of  the  two  studies — 
many  people,  without  having  gone  far  into  the  study  of  Astronomy, 
have  got  elementary  ideas  of  it,  which  are  correct  as  far  as  they  go. 
Such  people  recognise  an  absurdity  within  their  own  range  of 
knowledge  as  readily  as  an  astronomer  does.  But  with  regard  to 
history  or  philology,  few  are  in  this  exact  state  of  mind.  The 
notion  (for  instance)  that  a  purely  Semitic  name  may  be  referred 
to  a  Celtic  origin,*  does  not  seem  so  absurd  to  them,  as  the  notion 
that  the  sun  goes  round  the  earth.  And  in  a  sense  they  are  right ; 
it  is  equally  wrong,  but  not  equally  absurd.  Philological  proposi- 
tions are  not  capable  of  rigid  mathematical  demonstrations.  A  man 
sees  that  astronomy  is  not  a  matter  of  guessing  ;  but  because  philo- 
logy is  not  capable  of  the  same  rigid  proof,  he  thinks  that  it  is  a 
matter  of  guessing,  and  that  his  guess  is  as  likely  to  be  right  as 
that  of  another  man.  Hence  in  philological  matters  the  right  thing 
does  not  get  the  same  undoubting  acceptance,  as  in  matters  of 
physical  science.  Anything  that  has  a  learned  air  will  impose  upon 
people,  and  the  wrong  thing  has  often  quite  as  learned  an  air  as 
the  right  one.  As  for  the  particular  etymologies  (we  have  been 
considering)  a  philologer  will  stop  to  discuss  them,  when  an 
astronomer  stops  to  discuss  the  theory  that  the  moon  is  made  of 
green  cheese." 

Let  me  conclude  with  a  few  words  by  way  of  caution.  The 
science  of  Comparative  Philology  is  not  old ;  the  study  of  Celtic, 
from  a  philological  point  of  view,  is  quite  modern.  There  is  there- 
fore much  danger  of  its  being  misapplied  and  misdirected  at  the 
present  time.  Comparatively  few  scholars  have  as  yet  made  them- 
selves acquainted  with  either  the  grammar  or  literature  of  the  Celtic 
languages.  On  the  other  hand,  few  native  Celts  have  had  time  or 
opportunity  to  study  the  latest  results  of  philological  research. 
But,  as  the  student  who  has  no  practical  knowledge  of  Welsh  or 
Gaelic,  must  find  himself  constantly  at  fault  from  ignorance  of 
simple  facts,  about  which  any  native  could  inform  him,  so  no 
amount  of  practical  knowledge  will  suffice,  without  an  acquaintance 
with  the  principles  on  which  philology  as  a  science  is  based.  Above 
all,  let  us  beware  of  a  misguided  enthusiasm,  that  seeks  not  the 
verification  of  facts,  so  much  as  the  establishment  at  all  hazards 
of  a  preconceived  theory.  It  is  no  question  of  nationality  with 
which  we  have  to  deal,  and  it  is  a  false  patriotism  that  would  exalt 
family  or  nation  at  the  expense  of  truth.  What  we  want  is 
intelligent  combination ;  the  union  of  Celt  and  Teuton,  Sassenach 

*  I  substitute  this  instance  for  the  one  given  in  the  original  article. 


Celtic  Etymologies.  203 

and  Gael,  in  the  one  honest  endeavour  to  find  out  the  facts  under 
the  guidance  of  sound  principles.  Let  us  then  take  for  our  motto 
the  famous  saying  of  Aristotle,  when  he  felt  himself  compelled  to 
dissent  from  the  philosophic  system  of  his  master,  which  has  been 
thus  preserved  to  us  in  a  Latin  version  — "  Amicus  Plato,  magis 
arnica  VERITAS." 


MEMBERS  OF  THE  SOCIETY. 


HONORARY    CHIEFTAINS. 

Sir  Kenneth  S.  Mackenzie  of  Gairloch,  Bart. 
Professor  John  Stuart  Blackie,  Edinburgh  University. 
Charles  Eraser-Mackintosh  of  Drummond,  M.P. 
Duncan  Davidson  of  Tulloch. 


LIFE     MEMBERS. 

Burgess,  Peter,  factor  for  Glenmoriston,  Dramnadrochit. 

Chisholm-Gooden,  James,  33  Tavistock  Square,  London. 

Cluny  Macpherson  of  Cluny  Macpherson. 

Forbes,  Alexander,  143  West  Regent  Street,  Glasgow. 

Eraser,  Alexander,  16  Union  Street,  Inverness. 

Eraser-Mackintosh,  Charles,  of  Drummond,  M.P. 

Macdonald,  Lachlan,  of  Skaebost,  Skye. 

Mackay,  Donald,  Gampola,  Kandy,  Ceylon. 

Mackay,  George  F.,  Roxburgh,  Otago,  New  Zealand. 

Mackay,  James,  Eoxburgh,  Otago,  New  Zealand. 

Mackay,  John,  C.E.,  Swansea. 

Mackenzie,  Sir  Kenneth  S.,  of  Gairloch,  Bart. 

Mackenzie,  Allan  R.,  yr.  of  Kintail,  Leys  Castle,  Inverness. 

Scobie,  Captain  N.,  Fearn,  Ross-shire. 

HONORARY     MEMBERS. 

Anderson,  James,  solicitor,  Inverness. 
Black,  Rev.  Dr.,  Inverness. 

Blackie,  Professor  John  Stuart,  Edinburgh  University. 
Bourke,  Very  Rev.  Canon,  Kilcolman,  Claremorris,  Mayo. 
Buchan,  Dr.  Patrick,  Stouehaven. 
Burgess,  Alexander,  Caledonian  Bank,  Gairloch. 
Cameron,  Donald,  of  Clunes,  Inverness. 

Cameron,  Ewen,  manager  of  the  Hong-Kong  and  Shanghai  Banking 
Company,  at  Shanghai. 


206  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Cameron,  James  Randal,  Jacksonville,  Oregon. 

Campbell,  George  Murray,  Gampola,  Ceylon. 

Chisholm,  Captain  A.  Maura,  Glassburn,  Strathglass. 

Davidson,  Donald,  solicitor,  Inverness. 

Davidson,  Duncan,  of  Tullocb,  Koss-shire. 

Ferguson,  Mrs.,  6  Charles  Street,  Lowndes  Square,  London. 

Fraser,  A.  T.  F.,  clothier,  Church  Street,  Inverness. 

Eraser,  Huntly,  Kinrnyles,  Inverness. 

Grant,  John,  Cardiff,  Wales. 

Grant,  General  Sir  Patrick,  G.C.B.,  Chelsea,  London. 

Grant,  Robert,  of  Messrs.  Macdougall  &  Co.,  Inverness. 

Grant,  Major  W.,  Drambuie,  Glen-Urquhart. 

Lines,  Charles,  solicitor,  Inverness. 

Jenkins,  R,  P.,  solicitor,  Inverness. 

Jerrarn,  C.  S.,  M.A.,  Woodcote  House,  Windlesham. 

Jolly,  William,  H.M.  Inspector  of  Schools,  Albyn  Place,  Inverness. 

Krause,  Fritz,  Waverley  Hotel,  Inverness. 

Macandrew,  H.  C.,  sheriff-clerk,  Inverness-shire. 

Macdonald,  Alexander,  Balranald,  Uist. 

Macdouald,  Allan,  solicitor,  Inverness. 

Macdonald,  Andrew,  solicitor,  Inverness. 

Macdonald,  Bailie,  Aberdeen. 

Macdonald,  Captain  D.  P.,  Ben-Nevis  Distillery,  Fort- William. 

Macdonald,  John,  Marine  Hotel,  Nairn. 

Macdonell,  Patrick,  Kinchyle,  Dores. 

Macfarquhar,  John,  M.A.,  Inverness. 

Macgregor,  Rev.  Alex.,  M.A.,  Inverness. 

Mackay,  Charles,  LL.D.,  Fern  Dell  Cottage,  near  Dorking. 

Mackay,  Donald,  San  Francisco,  California. 

Mackay,  John  (of  Ben  Reay)  Meadowbank,  Fortrose. 

Mackay,  John  Stuart,  San  Francisco,  California. 

Mackay,  Neil,  Penylan  House,  Pencoed,  Bridgend,  Wales. 

Mackenzie,  Rev.  A.  D.,  Free  Church,  Kilmorack. 

Mackenzie,  Colonel  Hugh,  of  Parkmount,  Forres. 

Mackenzie,  John,  M.D.,  of  Eileanach,  Inverness. 

Mackenzie,  Osgood  H.,  of  Inverewe,  Poolewe. 

Mackenzie,  Major  Thomas,  78th  Highlanders,  Poona,  India. 

Mackenzie,  Thomas,  Broadstone  Park,  Inverness. 

Mackintosh  of  Mackintosh,  Moyhall. 

Mackintosh,  .Angus,  of  Holme. 

Mackintosh,  Eneas  W.,  of  Raigmore. 

Mackintosh,  P.  A.,  C.li.,  Bridgend,  Glamorgan. 

Macphersou,  Colonel,  of  Glentruim,  Kingussio. 


Members.  207 

Macrae,  D.  A.,  Monar,  by  Beauly. 

Macrae,  Ewen  (of  Ardtulloch.  Australia),  Ardintoul,  Lochalsli. 

Menzies,  John,  Caledonian  Hotel,  Inverness. 

2sTicolson,  Angus,  late  editor  of  The  Gael,  Glasgow. 

O'Hara,   Thomas,   inspector    of    National   Schools,  Portarlington, 

Ireland. 

Reidhaven,  Lord,  Balmacaan,  Glen-TJrquhart. 
Ross,  Rev.  William,  Rothesay. 
Scott,  Roderick,  solicitor,  Inverness. 
Seaficld,  the  Right  Hon.  the  Earl  of,  Castle  Grant. 
Shaw,  A.  Mackintosh,  Secretary's  Office,  G.P.O.,  London. 
Small,  James,  of  Dirnanean,  Pitlochry. 
Stewart,  John,  Duntulm,  Skye. 
Stoddart,  Evan,  Mudgee,  N.S.  Wales,  Australia. 
Sutherland,  Alexander,  Taff  Brae  Cottage,  Cefn,  Merthyr-TydviL 
Sutherland- Walker,  Evan  Charles,  of  Skibo. 
Wilson,  P.  G.,  Inverness. 

ORDINARY     MEMBERS. 

Baillie,  Peter,  Inverness. 

Bain,  Wm.,  "  Courier  "  Office,  Inverness. 

Bannatyne,  William  Mackinnon,  Stirling. 

Barclay,  John,  accountant,  Inverness. 

Barren,  James,  "  Courier  "  Office,  Inverness. 

Bisset,  Rev.  Alexander,  R.  C.,  Stratherrick. 

Black,  George,  banker,  Inverness. 

Buchanan,  F.  C.,  Helensburgh. 

Cameron,  Miss  M.  E.,  of  Innseagan,  Fort-William. 

Cameron,  A.  H.  F.,  of  LakeMd,  2  Shield  Road,  Liverpool* 

Cameron,  Rev.  Alex.,  Glengarry. 

Cameron,  Archibald,  Glenbair,  Kintyre. 

Cameron,  Donald,  of  Lochiel,  M. L*. 

Cameron,  D.,  velocipede  maker,  Dempster  Gardens,  Inverness. 

Cameron,  H.  E.,  dunes,  Lochaber. 

Campbell,  Alexander,  supervisor,  Kyleakin,  Skye. 

Campbell,  D.  A.,  builder,  Inverness. 

Campbell,  Donald,  draper,  Bridge  Street,  Inverness. 

Campbell,  Fraser  (of  Fraser  and  Campbell),  High  Street,  Inverness. 

Campbell,  George  J.,  solicitor,  Inverness. 

Campbell,  Paul,  shojmakor,  Bridge  Street,  Inverness. 

Campbell,  A.  D.,  Kirkintilloch. 

Campbell,  T.  D.  (of  Cuniuiiug  and  Campbell),  Xess  Bank,  Inverueii. 


208  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Cannichael,  A.  A.,  Inland  Eevenue,  Oban. 

Carroll,  Dr.  William,  617  South  16th  Street,  Philadelphia. 

Carruthers,  "Walter,  Gordonville,  Inverness. 

Charleson,  Hector,  Railway  Refreshment  Rooms,  Forres. 

Chisholm,  Alpin,  21  Castle  Street,  Inverness. 

Chisholm,  Archibald,  sheriff-clerk  depute,  Inverness. 

Chisholm,  Colin,  Namur  Cottage,  Inverness. 

Chisholm,  Simon,  Flowerdale,  Gairloch. 

Clunas,  James,  Nairn. 

Colvin,  John,  solicitor,  Inverness. 

Cooper,  William,  Highland  Railway,  Inverness. 

Cran,  John,  Kirkton,  Inverness. 

Crawford,  D.,  Otterferry. 

Gumming,  James,  Allanfearn,  Inverness. 

Dallas,  Alexander,  town-clerk,  Inverness. 

Davidson,  Andrew,  sculptor,  Inverness. 

Davidson,  John,  grocer,  Inglis  Street,  Inverness. 

Davidson,  Lachlan,  banker,  Kingussie. 

Dott,  Donald,  Caledonian  Bank,  Lochmaddy. 

Douglas,  Wm.,  Aberdeen  Town  and  County  Bank,  Inverness. 

Duncan,  John  M.,  "  Annandale  Advertiser." 

Falconer,  Peter,  plasterer,  Inverness. 

Fergusson,  Charles,  Ballymacool,  Letterkenny,  Ireland. 

Fergusson,  Robert,  Raploch,  Stirling. 

Fergusson,  D.  H.,  Pipe-Major,  I.H.R.V.,  Inverness. 

Finlayson,  Simon,  commercial  traveller,  3  Jamaica  Street,  Glasgow. 

Forbes,  Dr.  G.  F.,  of  the  Bombay  Army,  Viewfield  House,  Inverness. 

Forbes,  Duncan,  of  Culloden. 

Forsyth,  Ebenezer,  "  Inverness  Advertiser  "  Office,  Inverness. 

Forsyth,  John  H.,  wine  merchant,  Inverness. 

Forsyth,  W.  B.,  of  the  "  Inverness  Advertiser,"  Inverness. 

Fraser,  ^neas  (Innes  and  Mackay),  Inverness. 

Fraser,  Alexander,  solicitor,  Inverness. 

Fraser,  Andrew,  builder,  Inverness. 

Fraser,  Andrew,  cabinetmaker,  Union  Street,  Inverness. 

Fraser,  A.  R.,  British  Linen  Company  Bank,  Stirling. 

Fraser,  D.,  Glenelg. 

Fraser,  Donald,  solicitor,  Nairn. 

Fraser,  Hugh,  inspector  of  poor,  Inverness. 

Fraser,  Hugh,  Balloch,  Culloden. 

Fraser,  Hugh  C.,  Haugh,  Inverness. 

Fraser,  George,  Royal  Bank,  Inverness. 

Fraser,  Wm.  (Gunn  and  Grant),  Castle  Street,  Inverness. 


Members.  209 

Fraser,  James,  commission  agent,  Lombard  Street,  Inverness. 

Eraser,  James,  C.E.,  Inverness. 

Fraser,  James,  Mauld,  Strathglass. 

Fraser,  James,  manufacturer,  41  North  Albion  Street,  Glasgow. 

Fraser,  Rev.  John,  Free  Church  Manse,  Kosskeen. 

Fraser,  Miss,  Farraline  Villa,  North  Berwick. 

Fraser,  Simon,  75  Huntly  Street,  Inverness. 

Fraser,  William,  51  Tomnahurich  Street,  Inverness. 

Galloway,  George,  chemist,  Inverness. 

Gillies,  H.  C.,  52  Cromwell  Street,  Glasgow. 

Gillanders,  John,  teacher,  Denny. 

Glass,  C.  C.,  North  Street,  St.  Andrews. 

Grant,  James,  M.A.,  Register  House,  Edinburgh. 

Grant,  Rev.  J.,  E.  C.  Manse,  Kilmuir,  Skye. 

Gunn,  Wm.,  draper,  Castle  Street,  Inverness. 

Hood,  Andrew,  commercial  traveller,  39  Union  Street,  Inverness. 

Hood,  Miss,  39  Union  Street,  Inverness. 

Joass,  W.  C.,  architect,  Dingwall. 

Kennedy,  Neil,  Kishorn,  Lochcarron. 

Kerr,  Thomas,  Caledonian  Bank,  Inverness. 

Livingstone,  Colin,  Fort- William. 

Macbean,  Charles,  writer,  42  Union  Street,  Inverness. 

Macbean,  George,  42  Union  Street,  Inverness. 

Macbean,  James,  77  Church  Street,  Inverness. 

Macbean,  Lachlan,  "  Fifeshire  Advertiser  "  Office,  Kirkcaldy. 

Macaskill,  D.,  saddler,  Dun  vegan. 

Macdonald,  Alexander,  messenger-at-arms,  Inverness. 

Macdonald,  Alexander,  flesher,  New  Market,  Inverness. 

Macdonald,  Donald,  farmer,  Culchraggie,  Alness. 

Macdonald,  Donald,  painter,  Inverness. 

Macdonald,  Donald,  Englishton,  Bunchrew. 

Macdonald,  Finlay,  Druidag,  KintaiL 

Macdonald,  Hugh,  2  Petty  Street,  Inverness. 

Macdonald,  John,  banker,  Buckie. 

Macdonald, blacksmith,  Invergarry. 

Macdonald,  John,  Ballifeary,  Inverness. 

Macdonald,  John,  gamekeeper,  Dunphail. 

Macdonald,  John,  35  Tavistock  Terrace,  Upper  Holloway,  London,  N. 

Macdonald,  John,  live  stock  agent,  Inverness. 

Macdonald,  John,  merchant,  Exchange,  Inverness. 

Macdonald,  John  (Innes  &  Mackay),  Inverness. 

Macdonald,  R.  A.,  Ullinish,  Skye. 

Macdonald,  Dr.  William,  Inverness. 


210  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Macdonald,  "William,  Hilton  Tillage,  Inverness. 

Macdonald,  William,  contractor,  Badcall,  Glen-Urquhart. 

Macdonald,  Murdo,  Row  House,  by  Doune,  Pitlochry. 

Macdonell,  F.  D.,  Hastings,  Hawkes  Bay,  New  Zealand. 

Macdougall,  Donald,  Craggan,  Grantown. 

Macgillivray,  Finlay,  solicitor,  Inverness. 

Macgillivray,  John,  grocer,  Academy  Street,  Inverness. 

Macgillivray,  William,  clerk,  Castle  Street,  Inverness. 

Macgillivray.  William,  innkeeper,  Kingussie. 

Macgregor,  Donald,  42  Glassford  Street,  Glasgow. 

Macgregor,  John,  hotelkeeper,  Invermoriston. 

Macgregor,  Kev.  Malcolm,  F.C.  Manse,  Ferrintosh. 

Machardy,  Robert,  8  Church  Street.  Inverness. 

Maciver,  Duncan,  Church  Street,  Inverness. 

Maciver,  Finlay,  carver,  Church  Street,  Inverness. 

Macintyre,  Donald,  schoolmaster,  Arpafuelie. 

Mackay,  Alexander,  builder,  Academy  Street,  Inverness. 

Mackay,  Charles,  builder,  Culduthel  Road,  Inverness. 

Mackay,  D.  J.,  solicitor,  Inverness. 

Mackay,  John  G.,  158  Plantation  Street,  Glasgow. 

Mackay,  William,  solicitor,  Church  Street,  Inverness. 

Mackay,  William,  bookseller,  High  Street,  Inverness. 

Mackenzie,  A.  S.,  4  Upper  Porchester  Street,  Hyde  Park,   London. 

Mackenzie,  Alexander,  editor,  "  Celtic  Magazine,"  Inverness. 

Mackenzie,  Alexander,  wine  merchant,  Church  Street,  Inverness. 

Mackenzie,  Alexander,  architect,  251  St.  Vincent  Street,  Glasgow. 

Mackenzie,  A.  C.,  teacher,  Maryburgh,  Dingwall. 

Mackenzie,  Andrew,  ironmonger,  Alness. 

Mackenzie,  C.  D.,  102  Linthorpe  Road,  Middlesboro'-on-Tees. 

Mackenzie,  Evan,  solicitor,  Inverness. 

Mackenzie,  Dr.  F.  M.,  Inverness. 

Mackenzie,  H.  F.,  Caledonian  Bank,  Inverness. 

Mackenzie,  P.  A.  C.,  57  Marquis  Road,  Carnden  Square,  London. 

Mackenzie,  Hugh,  postmaster,  Alness. 

Mackenzie,  James  H.,  bookseller,  High  Street,  Inverness. 

Mackenzie,  Murdoch,  Inland  Revenue,  Fort-William. 

Mackenzie,  Simon  (Harrison  &  Co.),  Chambers  Street,  Edinburgh. 

Mackenzie,  William,  factor,  Ardross. 

Mackenzie,  William,  solicitor,  Dingwall. 

Mackenzie,  William,  "  Aberdeen  Free  Press  "  Office,  Inverness, 

Mackenzie,  William,  draper,  Bridge  Street,  Inverness. 

Mackinnon,  Deputy  Surgeon-General  W.  A.,  C.B.,  Aldershot. 

Mackintosh,  Charles,  commission  agent,  Church  Street,  Inverness. 


Members.  211 

Mackintosh,  Duncan,  Bank  of  Scotland,  Inverness. 

Mackintosh,  Duncan,  draper,  57  High  Street,  Inverness. 

Mackintosh,  James,  National  Bank,  Grantowu. 

Mackintosh,  James,  merchant,  Buenos  Ayres. 

Mackintosh,  John,  57  High  Street,  Inverness. 

Mackintosh,  Miss,  The  Brae,  Denny. 

Mackintosh,  Peter  (Messrs.  Macdougall  &  Co.'s),  Gran  town. 

Maclachlan,  Duncan,  publisher,  64  South  Bridge,  Edinhurgh. 

Maclachlan,  Rev.  Lachlan,  Established  Church,  Tain. 

Maclean,  Alexander,  coal  merchant,  Inverness. 

Maclean,  Ewen,  Hawkes  Bay,  New  Zealand. 

Maclean,  Roderick,  Ardross,  Alness. 

Macleay,  W.  A.,  birdstuffer,  Inverness. 

Maclennan,  Murdo,  Shore  Street,  Inverness. 

Macleod,  Alexander,  grocer,  Bridge  Street,  Inverness. 

Macleod,  Alexander,  8  Church  Street,  Inverness. 

Macleod,  Robert,  commercial  traveller,  Leith. 

Maclure,  Alexander,  21  Whittall  Street,  Birmingham. 

Macmillan,  Archd.,  Kaituna,  Havelock,  Marlborough,  N.Z. 

Macmillan,  John,  Kingsmills  Road,  Inverness. 

Macnee,  Dr.,  Inverness. 

Macneil,  Nigel,  Dumbarton  Road,  Glasgow.  , 

Macphail,  Alexander,  Lairg  House,  Stratbpeffer. 

Macphail,  Angus,  35  Lothim  Street,  Edinburgh. 

Macpherson,  D.,  Glenness  Place,  Inverness. 

Macpherson,  Duncan,  8  Drummond  Street,  Inverness. 

Macpherson,  James,  Rose  Street,  Inverness. 

Macpherson,  Sergeant  D.,  Chapel  Street,  Inverness. 

Macpherson,  James,  28  Melville  Terrace,  Edinburgh. 

Macpherson,  Rev.  John,  F.  C.  Manse,  Lairg. 

Macpherson,  Mrs.  Sarah,  Alexandra  Villa,  Kingussie. 

Macrae,  Alexander  M.,  Glcnoze,  by  Portree. 

Macrae,  Rev.  A.,  Free  Church  Manse,  Clachan,  Kintyre. 

Macrae,  Rev.  Angus,  F.C.,  Glen-Urquhart. 

Macrae,  Donald,  High  School,  Inverness. 

Macrae,  Duncan,  Ardintoul,  Lochalsh. 

Macrae,  Ewen,  Braintrath,  Lochalsh. 

Macrae,  Ewen,  Borlum,  Fort-Augustus. 

Macrae,  R.,  postmaster,  Beauly. 

Macrae,  Roderick,  Island  of  Eigg,  by  Greeuock. 

Macrae,  Donald,  Glenvargill,  Skye. 

Macrae,  Thomas,  Glasnakill,  Skye. 

Macrae,  Duncan,  Camusunary,  Skye. 


212  Gaelic  Society  of  In verness. 

Macrae,  John,  medical  student,  Braintra,  Lochalsh. 

Macrae,  Kenneth  (late  Achlorachan,  Strathconnon),  Lochcarron. 

Macraild,  A.  E.,  Inverness. 

Matheson,  Dr.  Farquhar,  Soho  Square,  London. 

Matheson,  John,  supervisor,  Paisley. 

Melven,  James,  bookseller,  Inverness. 

Menzies,  Duncan,  farmer,  Blairich,  Rogart. 

Middleton,  David,  coal  merchant,  Inverness. 

Morrison,  Robert,  jeweller,  Inverness. 

Morrison,  William,  schoolmaster,  Dingwall. 

Munro,  A.  R.,  57  Camphill  Road,  Birmingham. 

Munro,  John,  54  Clyde  Place,  Glasgow. 

Murdoch,  John,  "  The  Highlander,"  Inverness. 

Murray,  "William,  chief-constable,  The  Castle,  Inverness. 

Nicolson,  Sheriff,  Kirkcudbright. 

Nicholson,  Jonathan,  wine  merchant,  Pershore  Street,  Birmingham. 

Nicolson,  William,  Whitecroft,  Lydney. 

Noble,  Andrew,  Lombard  Street,  Inverness. 

Noble,  John,  bookseller,  Castle  Street,  Inverness. 

Noble,  William,  The  Grocery,  Inverness. 

Reid,  James,  4  High  Street,  Inverness. 

Rhind,  John,  architect,  Inverness. 

Robertson,  George,  Bank  of  Scotland,  Coupar-Angus. 

Rose,  Rev.  A.  Macgregor,  F.  C.  Manse,  Evie  and  Rendall,  Orkney. 

Rose,  Hugh,  solicitor,  Inverness. 

Ross,  Alex.,  architect,  Inverness. 

Ross,  Alex.,  late  teacher,  Alness. 

Ross,  Alex.,  "Advertiser"  Office,  Inverness. 

Ross,  D.  R.,  Gas  Office,  Inverness. 

Ross,  Donald,  M.A.,  H.M.  inspector  of  Schools,  Glasgow. 

Ross,  George,  ironmonger,  DingwalL 

Ross,  Jonathan,  draper,  Inverness. 

Ross,  Roderick.,  Middlesboro'-on-Tees. 

Sharp,  D.,  Keppoch  Hill  Cottage,  Glasgow. 

Shaw,  David,  Union  Bank,  Inverness. 

Shaw,  Hugh,  tinsmith,  Inverness. 

Shaw,  John  D.,  accountant,  Inverness. 

Simpson,  Provost,  Inverness. 

Sinclair,  Archibald,  printer,  62  Argyle  Street,  Glasgow. 

Sinclair,  Duncan,  teacher,  Parish  School,  Lochlash. 

Sinclair,  Rev.  John,  Kinloch-Rannoch. 

Sinton,  Thomas,  Nuide,  Kingussie. 

Smith,  Thomas  A.,  clerk,  Steam  Saw  Mills,  Inverness, 


Members.  213 

Smith,  Thomas  S.,  6  Frederick  Street,  Edinburgh. 

Smith,  Wm.  Alex.,  Scottish  Imperial  Assurance  Coy.,  Manchester. 

Stewart,  Colin  J.,  Dingwall. 

Stewart,  Henry,  10  Huntly  Street,  Inverness. 

Stewart,  Robert,  shipbuilder,  Inverness. 

Stratton,  Dr.,  4  Valletort  Terrace,  Stoke,  Devonport. 

Sutherland,  Rev.  A.  C.,  Strathbraan,  Perthshire. 

Thompson,  Robert,  grocer,  Tomnahurich  Street,  Inverness. 

Tolmie,  John,  1  Bellevue  Crescent,  Edinburgh. 

Tulloch,  Dr.  David,  Helmsdale. 

Tulloch,  John,  painter,  Inverness. 

Walker,  Chas.  A.,  51  Watson  Street,  Aberdeen. 

Watson,  Rev.  William,  Kiltearn,  Evanton. 

Watt,  David,  Volunteer  Arms  Hotel,  Inverness. 

Whyte,  David,  Church  Street,  Inverness. 

Whyte,  Henry,  14  Holmhead  Street,  Glasgow. 

Whyte,  John,  "  The  Highlander,"  Inverness. 

Wilson,  George,  S.S.C.,  14  Hill  Street,  Edinburgh. 

APPRENTICES. 

Macdougall,  Charles,  Church  Street,  Inverness. 
Mackay,  James  John,  Drummond,  Inverness. 


DECEASED  MEMBERS'  OF  THE  SOCIETY. 

Cameron,  Rev.  John,  Glen-Urquhart. 

Gumming,  James,  "  Advertiser  "  Office,  Inverness. 

Eraser,  Simon,  banker,  Lochcarron. 

Grant,  John,  16  Inglis  Street,  Inverness. 

Kennedy,  David,  farmer,  Drumashie,  Inverness. 

Macbean,  Ex-Baillie  Alex.,  Inverness. 

Munro,  John,  wine  merchant,  Inverness. 


LIST 


NAMES  OF  BOOKS.  DONOR. 
1871. 

Ossian's    Poems     (H.     Society's    edition,  )    Colonel     Mackenzie 

Gaelic  and  Latin),  3  vols.,       .         .  J         of  Parkrnouut. 

Smith's  Gaelic  Antiquities,        .         .         .  ditto. 

Smith's  Seann  Dana,         ....  ditto. 
Highland    Society's    Report    on    Ossian's 

Poems          .....  ditto. 

Stewart's  Sketches  of  the  Highlands,  2  vols.,  ditto. 

Skene's  Picts  and  Scots,    ....  ditto. 

Dan  Osiein  Mhic  Fhinn,  ....  ditto. 

Macleod's  Oran  Nnadh  Gaelach,        .         .  ditto. 

An  Teachdaire  Gaelach,  1829-30,      .         .  ditto. 

Carew's  Ecclesiastical  History  of  Ireland,  .  Mr.  W.  Mackay. 

Grain  Ghilleashuig  Grannd,  t\vo  copies,     .  Mr.  Charles  Mackay. 

Macconnoll's  Reul-eolas,   ....  ditto. 

Maclauchlan's  Celtic  Gleanings,         .         .  Rev.  Dr.  Maclauchlan. 

1872. 

Maclauchl  an's  Early  Scottish  Church,         .  ditto. 

The  Dean  of  Lismore's  Book,    .         .         .  ditto. 

Macleod  &  De war's  Gaelic  Dictionary,        .  ditto. 

Highland  Society's  do.,  2  vols.,          .         .  Sir  "Ken.  S.  Mackenzie 

of  GairJoch.  Bart. 

Ritson's  Caledonians,  Picts,  and  Scots,      .  ditto. 

Dr.  Walker's  Hebrides,  2  vols.,         .         .  ditto. 
Campbell's  Language,  Poetry,  and  Music  of 

the  Highland  Clans,      .         .         .  Mr.  John  Murdoch. 
Macnicol's  Remarks  oa  Dr.  Johnson's  Tour 

in  the  Hebrides,    .         .         .         .  ditto. 

Somer's  Letters  from  the  Highlands,          .  ditto. 

Cameron's  Chemistry  of  Agriculture,          •  ditto. 

Sketches  of  Islay,    .         .                 .         .  ditto. 


216  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

NAMES  OF  BOOKS.  DONOR. 

Cameron's  History  of  Skye,      .         .         .  Mr.  John  Murdoch. 

Kennedy's  Bardic  Stories  of  Ireland,          .  ditto. 

Hicky's  Agricultural  Class-book,        .         .  ditto. 

Grain  Ghaelach  Mhic  Dhunleibhe,     .         .  ditto. 

The  Wolf  of  Badenoch,    .         .    '     .         .  ditto. 

Familiar  Illustrations  of  Scottish  Life,       .  ditto. 

Antiquity  of  the  Gaelic  Language,    .         .  ditto. 

The  Dauntless  Eed  Hugh  of  Tyrconnell,   .  ditto. 

The  Kilchoman  People  Vindicated,  .         .  ditto. 

Caraid  a'  Ghael — Sermon,         .         .         .  ditto. 
Highland  Clearances  the  cause  of  Highland 

Famines,       .....  ditto. 

Co-operative  Associations,         .         .         .  ditto. 

Lecture,  .......  ditto. 

Review  of "  Eight  Days  in  Islay,"     .         .  ditto. 

Gold  Diggings  in  Sutherland,   .         .         .  ditto. 

Review  of  Language  of  Ireland,         .         .  ditto. 

Highland  Character,         ....  ditto. 

An  Teachdaire  Gaelach,  1829-30,      .         .  ditto. 

The  Scottish  Regalia,        ....  ditto. 

Campbell's  West  Highland  Tales,  4  vols., .  Mr.  Alex.  Mackenzie. 

Bliadhna  Thearlaich,         ....  ditto. 

Macfarlane's  Collection  of  Gaelic  Poems,  .  Miss  Hood. 

Old  Gaelic  Bible  (partly  MS.),                   .  J.   Mackenzie,    M.D., 

of  Eileanach. 

Machale's,  Archbishop,  Irish  Pentateuch,  .  Canon  Bourke. 

Irish  Translation  of  Moore's  Melodies,        .  ditto. 
The   Bull   "  Ineffabilis  "   (Latin,   English, 

Gaelic,  and  French),      .         .         .  ditto. 

Celtic  Language  and  Dialects,  .         .         .  ditto. 

Bourke's  Irish  Grammar,  ....  ditto. 

Bourke's  Easy  Lessons  in  Irish,         .         .  ditto. 

Mackenzie's  Beauties  of  Gaelic  Poetry,      .  Rev.  W.  Ross,  Rothe- 

say. 

Macrimmon's  Piobaireachd,      .         .         .  Rev.  A.  Macgregor. 

Stratton's  Gaelic  Origin  of  Greek  and  Latin,  ditto. 
Gaelic  Translation  of  Apocrypha  (by  Rev. 

A.  Macgregor),      ....  ditto. 

Buchanan's  Historia  Scotise,      .         .        .  Mr.  William  Mackay. 

The  Game  Laws,  by  R.  G.  Tolmie,    .         .  Mr.  William  Mackay. 

St.  James's  Magazine,  vol.  i.,    .         .         .  Mr.     Mackay,     book- 
seller, Inverness. 


Library. 


217 


UAMES  OF  BOOKS. 
Fingal  (edition  1762),      .... 

Collection  of  English  Poems  (2  vols.), 
Philologic  Uses  of  the  Celtic  Tongue, 
Scoto-Celtic  Philology,  .... 

1873. 

Dana  Oisein  (Maclauchlan's  edition), 
Munro's  Gaelic  Primer,     .... 
M' Alpine's  Gaelic  Dictionary,   . 
M'Mhuirich's  "  Duanaire," 
Munro's  Gaelic  Grammar, 
Grain  Mhic-an-t-Saoir,     .... 
Grain  Uilleam  Eos,          .... 
Ceithir  Searmoin,  le  Dr.  Dewar, 
Carsewell's  Prayer  Book  (Gaelic), 
Scot's  Magazine  (1757),    . 
History  of  the  EebeUion,  1745-46,     . 

Welsh  Bible, 

Old  Gaelic  New  Testament, 
Adhamh  agus  Eubh  (Adam  and  Eve), 

Old  Gaelic  Bible, 

Grain  Ailein  Dughalaich, .... 
Macpherson's  Poems  of  Ossian, 

1874. 

An  Gaidheal  for  1873,      . 
Grain,  cruinnichte  le  Mac-an-Tuairnear, 

The  Gospels,  in  eight  Celtic  dialects, 
Eraser  of  Knockie's  Highland  Music, 

1875. 

The  Clan  Battle  at  Perth,  by  A.  M.  Shaw, 
The  Scottish  Metrical  Psalms,  . 
Sailm  Dhaibhidh  Ameadreachd  (Ed.  1659). 


DONOR. 

C.  Eraser-Mackintosh, 

Esq.,  M.P. 
Mr.  D.  Mackintosh. 
Mr.  D.  Maciver. 
Lord   leaves,  LL.D., 

E.E.S.E. 

Maclachlan  &  Stewart, 
ditto, 
ditto, 
ditto, 
ditto, 
ditto, 
ditto, 
ditto. 

Purchased. 
Mr.  A.  Macbean. 
Mr.  D.  Mackintosh. 
Mr.  L.  Mackintosh. 
Mr.  L.  Macbean. 
ditto, 
ditto, 
ditto, 
ditto. 

The  Publishers. 

Mr.     A.    Mackintosh 

Shaw,  London. 
Mr.       J.        Mackay, 

Shrewsbury. 
Mr.  Mackenzie,  Bank 

Lane,  Inverness. 

The  Author. 

Mr.  J.  Eraser,  Glasgow. 


Biographical      Dictionary 
Scotsmen  (9  vols.),     . 
Grain  Ghilleasbuig  Grannd, 
Clarsach  nan  Beann, 


1876. 
of      Eminent )  Mr.  A.  E.    Macraild, 

j        Inverness. 
»     Mr.  J.Craigie,  Dundee, 
ditto. 


218  Gaelic  Soc/ely  of  In  vern  ess. 

NAMES  OF  BOOKS.  DONOR. 

Fulangas  Chriosd, Mr.  J.  Craigie,  Dundee. 

Dain  Spioradail.       .....  ditto. 

Spiritual  Songs  (Gaelic  and  English),         .  ditto. 

Alexander  Macdonald's  Gaelic  Poems,        .  ditto. 

Grain  Mhic-an-t-Saoir,      ....  ditto. 

Leabhar  nan  ceist,    .....  ditto. 

Co-eigneachndh  Soisgenlach  (Boston),         .  ditto. 

History  of  the  Druids  (Toland's),       .         .  ditto. 

Melodies  from  the  Gaelic,           *         .         .  ditto. 

Maclean's  History  of  the  Celtic  Language,  ditto. 

Leabhar  Sailra,         .....  ditto. 

Origin  and  Descent  of  the  Gael,         .         .  ditto. 

Stewart's  Gaelic  Grammar,         .         .         .  ditto. 

Macpherson's  Caledonian  Antiquities  (1768),  ditto. 

Biboul  Noimbh  (London,  1855),        .         .  ditto. 

Searmona  Mhic  Dhiannaid,       .         .         .  ditto. 

Dain  Oisein,    ......  ditto. 

Fingal  (1762),          .         .                  .         .  ditto. 

Life  of  Columba  (1798),  .         .       -.       •.,  ditto. 

Grain  Rob  Duinn  Mhic  Aoidh,          .         .  ditto. 

Dain  leis  an  LTrr.  I.  Lees,           .         .         .  ditto. 

Searmoua  leis  an  Urr.  E.  Blarach,      .       • .  ditto. 

Euglais  na  h-Alba,  leis  an  Urr.  A.  Clare, 

Inbhirnis,         .                  .         .         .  Ditto. 

Bourke's  Aryan  Origin  of  the  Gaelic  Rac3,  Mr.  J.Mackay,  S wansea 

Reed's  Bibliotheca  fccoto-Celtica,        .         .  ditto. 

Munro's  Gaolic  Primer  (3  copies  in  library),  Purchased. 

Euchdraidh  na  h-Alba,  le  A.  Mac  Coiimich 

(3  copies),         .....  The  Author. 

Dain  Gailig  leis  an  Urr.  I.  Lees,        .         .  Rev.  Dr.  Lees,  Paisley. 

Philologic  Uses  of  the  Celtic  Tongue,  by 

Professor  Geddes  (1872),  .         .         .  The  Author. 

Philologic    Uses    of    the    Celtic    Tongue 

(1873),     ....     'x,yf     .  ditto. 

Poems  by  Ossian,  in  metro  (1796)     .         .  Mr.    Alex.    Kennedy, 

Bohuntin. 

Proceedings  of  the  Historical  and  Archaeo- 
logical Association  of  Ireland  (1870-3),  The  Society. 

Shaw's  Gaelic  Dictionary  (1780),       .         .  Rev.  A.  Macgrogor. 

History  of  the  Culdees,  Maccal! urn's,          .  ditto. 

Macd iar mi d's  Gaelic  Sermons  (MS.,  1773),  ditto. 

Gaelic  Grammar,  Irish  character  (1808),    .  ditto. 


Library.  2 

NAMES  OP  BOOKS.  DONOR. 

Gaelic  Pentateuch,  Irish  character,    .         .     Rev.  A.  Macgregor. 

Gaelic  Book  of  Common  Prayer  (1819),     .  dilto. 

Gaelic  Psalter,  Irish  character,  .         .         .  ditto. 

Transactions  of  the  Gaelic  Society  of  Inver- 
ness, vol.  i.,  ii.,  iii.,  and  iv.,  . 

Bibliotheca  Scoto-Celtica, 

Grain  lo  Kob  Donn,          .... 

Leabhar  Oran  Gaidhealach, 

Vible  Casherick,  Manx,    .... 

Biobla  Naotutha,  Irish,     .... 

Dr.  Smith's  Seann  Dana, 

Evans's  Wel^h  Grammar  and  Vocabulary, 

Grain  Uilleam  llos,          .... 

Grain  Dhonncha  Bhnin,  .... 

Co-chruinneachadh  Grain  Gailig, 

Book  of  Psalms,  Irish,      .... 

Grain  Nuadh  Gaidhelach,  le  A.  Macdhomh- 
nuill, 

Laoidhean  o  'n  Sgriobtuir,  D.  Dewar, 

Leabhar  Gran  Gailig,        .... 

Am  Biobla  Naomtha  (1690),     . 

The  Family  of  lona,         .... 

Grant's  Origin  and  Descent  of  the  Gael,    . 

Eathad  Dhe  gu  Sith,        .... 

Dain  Spioradail,  Urr.  I.  Griogalach, . 

Dara  Leabhar  airson  nan  Sgoilean  Gaidh- 
ealach,         ..... 

Treas  Leabhar  do.  do.,      . 

What  Patriotism,  Justice,  and  Christianity 
demand  for  India, 

Grain  Ghaidhealach,         .... 

Priolo's  Illustrations  from  Ossian,      .         .     Purchased. 

Photograph  of  Gaelic  Charter,  1408,          .     Eev.   "W.   Eoss, 

Eothesay. 

The  Celtic  Magazine,  vol.  i.,  .         .     The  Publishers. 

Elementary  Lessons  m  Gaelic,  .         .         .     The  Author. 

1877. 

Stewart's  Gaelic  Grammar,        .         .         .     Mr.  D.  Macintosh. 

Proceedings  of  the  Historical  and  Archre- 1 

ologtcal    Association    of    Ireland,  !•  The  Society. 

1874-5  (2  parts),  ...        .  j 

Do.  do.,      1876  (3  parts),          ditto. 


220 


Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 


NAMES  OF  BOOKS. 

Irish  Pedigrees,  by  O'Hart, 

Dan  an  Deirg  agus  Tiomna  Ghuill  (English 
Translation),  2  copies,  . 

Transactions  of  the  Gaelic  Society  of  In- 
verness, vol.  v.,  . 

Gaelic  and  English  Vocabulary  (1741), 

Aryan  Origin  of  the  Celtic  Eace  and 
Language,  ..... 

Old  Map  of  Scotland  (1745),    . 

Collection  of  Harp  Music, 

Valuation  Eoll  of  the  County  of  Inverness 
(1869-70),    .         .         . 
Do.  do.,     Ross  (1871-72),    . 

Inverness  Directory  (1869-70), 

Greek  Testament,     ..... 

Greek  Lexicon,        .       •»*;-.;     . 

Gospel  of  St.  John  adapted  to  the  Hamil- 
tonian  System  (Latin),  . 

Histoire  de  Gil  Bias  de  Santillane  (French), 

Prophecies  of  the  Brahan  Seer,  2nd  edition, 

My  Schools  and  Schoolmasters, 

Gaelic  Etymology  of  the  English  Language, 
Dr.  Charles  Mackay,  . 

Transactions  of  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness, 
vol.  vi.,  ..... 

The  Highland  Echo,         .         . 

The  Highlander  Newspaper  from  beginning 
up  to  date,  ..... 

Hebrew — Celtic  Affinity,  Dr.  Stratton, 

Proceedings  of  the  Historical  and  Archaeo- 
logical Society  of  Ireland,  1877 — 
Parts  L,  II.,  III.,  IV.,  .  . 

Illustrations  of  Waverley,  published  for 
the  Eoyal  Association  for  promoting 
the  Fine  Arts  in  Scotland  (1865),  . 

Illustrations  of  Heart  of  Midlothian,   do. 

do.  (1873), 

Illustrations  of  The  Bride  of  Lammermoor, 

do.  do.  (1875),  .... 
Illustrations  of  Eed  Gauntlet,  do.  do.  (1876), 


DONORS. 

The  Author. 
Mr.  C.  S.  Jerram. 


Eev.  A.  M'Gregor. 
Mr.  John  Mackay, 

Swansea. 
Mr.  Colin  M'Callum, 

London. 
Mr.  Charles  Fergusson. 

ditto, 
ditto, 
ditto, 
ditto, 
ditto. 

ditto. 

ditto. 

Mr.  A.  Mackenzie. 
Mr.  James  Eeid. 

J,  Mackay,  Swansea. 


Purchased. 

Purchased. 
The  Author. 


The  Society. 


Miss  Eraser,  Farraline 
Villa,  N.  Berwick. 

ditto. 

ditto, 
ditto. 


PB 
1501 
G3 
v.8 


Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 
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